Friday, April 30, 2010

Introducing Lucy Melat!

I posted this yesterday, but for some weird reason it only shows up through facebook, so I'm reposting it here now!

Here is the beautiful girl we can officially call our daughter! Lucy Melat Kesler!

video

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No News today...

Apparently the phones/internet have been down in Ethiopia yesterday and today, so the staff at Gladney was not able to get any court updates. Hoping things are back up and running tomorrow so we can get our update on wether or not we passed court.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thoughts of the day, Court Count Down-1!

Today, I am filled with peace.

Yesterday, I was kind of a ball of anxiety (ask my husband, I was "on edge", as he nicely described it as I barked orders at my kids in Costco).

I have a new favorite. Matt Maher...a worship/musician. I LOVE his music right now, and today, I found this song, Shout of the King. It is perfect for today. We wait, we trust. We believe in God's plan for ours and Lucy's lives.



Here's the Lyrics:
Verse 1
You're not like man
That you should lie
You do not falter
Or change your mind

All that you say
Is what you do
All that you promise
You're seeing through

Pre-Chorus 1
So we wait on you, lord
And we rise to your voice

Chorus
The shout of the king, the son of god
Your presence now here with us
The sound of praise all in a name
Jesus Christ, the one who saves
All you people rise to the shout of the king

Verse 2

There is no power
No scheme of man
That separates
Us from your hand

We will not move
Far from your gaze
Here in your presence
We will remain

Pre-Chorus 2
So we stand on you word
And we run to your voice

Bridge
It's the sound that breaks down strongholds
It's the sound that makes a sinner whole
The sound of freedom falling on the earth
The sound of victory


Also, this devotional/meditation from Streams in the Desert spoke truth to me this morning, too. God is good, and for now, I've been able to let go of my worry and anxiety about tomorrow's news. ( I have been looking for this book and haven't found it for myself, but I subscribe to it on email...by LB Cowman)

April 27
His Billows

"All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" (Ps. 42:7).

They are HIS billows, whether they go o'er us,
Hiding His face in smothering spray and foam;
Or smooth and sparkling, spread a path before us,
And to our haven bear us safely home.

They are HIS billows, whether for our succor
He walks across them, stilling all our fear;
Or to our cry there comes no aid nor answer,
And in the lonely silence none is near.
They are HIS billows, whether we are toiling
Through tempest-driven waves that never cease,
While deep to deep with clamor loud is calling;
Or at His word they hush themselves in peace.

They are HIS billows, whether He divides them,
Making us walk dryshod where seas had flowed;
Or lets tumultuous breakers surge about us,
Rushing unchecked across our only road.
They are HIS billows, and He brings us through them;
So He has promised, so His love will do.
Keeping and leading, guiding and upholding,
To His sure harbor, He will bring us through.
--Annie Johnson Flint

Stand up in the place where the dear Lord has put you, and there do your best. God gives us trial tests. He puts life before us as an antagonist face to face. Out of the buffeting of a serious conflict we are expected to grow strong. The tree that grows where tempests toss its boughs and bend its trunk often almost to breaking, is often more firmly rooted than the tree which grows in the sequestered valley where no storm ever brings stress or strain. The same is true of life. The grandest character is grown in hardship. --Selected

Monday, April 26, 2010

No, Really.

No, Really. I have the best mom (emphasis on I...me. I do.)

She is really. the. best. When I need someone to listen to me endlessly rattle on about every puny detail of adoption...she listens. When I need to cry, she lets me. When I need to get out of the house, she goes with me. She plans to be here when she knows big days are coming. She was here bright and early on Friday with Starbucks so she could be here when we got the court call, and I was so glad she was. We cried, made the calls we needed to make, and then we hopped in the car. We spent a few hours shopping for baby socks and jammies, (and really, cute little pink sockies and jammies...they DO help lift the spirits.) We spent some time at their house in the afternoon..there is just something about being HOME to me. Not mine and Matt's house, my parents home. It's still home. They even left, and I stayed. It just makes me feel better to be there sometimes (thankfully, my hubby is cool with that). My parents are so supportive of our adoption...anticipation and love exactly like with our two homemade babies. Probably more so, since they have had loads of time with this one. I couldn't ask for a better family. ( She is already talking about taking some time off on Weds, so she can be here for this weeks court call).

Since we left the house in a hurry on Saturday, dying to GET OUT, we left a mess. When we got home last night, the cleaning fairy had come! I knew instantly that my mom had done it. She had planned to come over and pick up her vacuum I'd borrowed, and my kitchen and my boys pig sty, were all straigtened up and tidy. What a sweet surprise! and THEN...Matt spotted THIS in Lucy's room:



I knew exactly who had put it there, she'd been threatening for 2 weeks to buy it. When I called her to say thanks for all the sweet surprises, she said "it's your fault, you left me here alone! I had to do something :)" Lucy's babies are quite happy in there, we hope she'll like it too!

Really. MY mom is the best of all moms. REALLY.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Count Down- 3 days til court!

I'm not gonna lie. Friday was lousy. I tried my best to be prepared for the reality that it just might not happen the first time. Somehow, I still talked myself into thinking that since we'd waited SO long for a court date, somehow, it would even out and we'd get by the first time. I was so bummed. I was thankful my mom was here to get me out of the house and help me pick my heart up off the floor.

Saturday morning was great. We have some dear friends who are going through something way harder. Thier sweet 9 year old boy is fighting Leukemia for the 3rd time in the last two and a half years. Their faith is astounding. Their journey has been so hard, yet gives the Lord so much glory. Luke needs a miracle. There really is no medical treatment that can save him at this point. It's all been done. You can see more of their story here. www.caringbridge.org/lukejensen Anyhow, on Saturday morning a special snow storm was arranged for the Jensen's. Over 100 people, and 3 huge imported loads of snow from Mt Hood arrived in their front yard. Friends, family, neighbors, all poured out their love and shoveled this special snowstorm all around their yard for Luke. It was so amazing. So much love, so much joy, and lots of happy tears. I am so blessed to be a part of this family of Christ...it was amazing and beautiful to witness. Luke was pleased and his family was really blessed. It was AWESOME!

Then, we escaped. We threw some clean undies and toothbrushes and some food in the car and we zipped off to Cannon Beach, OR for a peaceful and relaxing overnighter. We laughed, Hayden lost his first tooth, and we played and played on the beach. The ocean, particularly that beach, is always perfect medicine to my soul. Somehow, my stress just melts away when that sea air hits my face. I really really LOVE the ocean and the beach. Matt and I have had so many relaxing getaways at that beach, I think the sight of Haystack Rock just triggers "relax" in my brain now. It was perfect. I feel refreshed, and calm, ready for the new count down to our "new" court date. video

Friday, April 23, 2010

Delay....

I am so bummed. Our court date was rescheduled for next weds. MOWA was missing a document the need to see. Not sure how it became missing, it was an attachment to a document. The original orphanage has the document needed, and it will be provided to MOWA on Monday or Tuesday. Please pray there are no further delays.

Lucy Melat. - we passed!!

Introducing Lucy Melat Kesler! She is officially a Kesler and our girl forever! video

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Court Count Down- TWO! 2! ONLY TWO days!

Oh. My. Goodness.

I can't believe we are this close to our court date! We waited almost 14 weeks from referral to finding out what our court date was. 3 more til the actual date. It seems a little unreal that it has been 4 months since we first saw that sweet face. She has gained 4.6 lbs and grown 3.4 inches! She is creeping up on 9 months old. By american growth charts, she falls into 50-75% for height, and under 5% for weight and head circumferance. She's a bean pole. Which, will fit in nicely with my hubby and boys who are all off the charts for "average" height!

I am dying to get my hands on her, and share some of her milestones with her. I'm glad she doesn't yet crawl or have teeth, because I really want to be there for those big firsts.

We feel so blessed that a group of our friends have been praying and fasting on our behalf, praying for our court date and all the details that go with it. I am getting asked alot what exactly is happening, or what to pray for, specifically, so I'll give a recap here. I am pretty much begging the Lord to allow all the details to come together without a hitch, so we can get on a plane ASAP! I really REALLY want to be in Ethiopia for Mother's Day.

The process actually begins on Thursday in Ethiopia (roughly 12 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time)...so I'm guessing sometime tonight between 9pm and 5am tomorrow, our time, our file and baby girl’s file will be reviewed by MOWA (ministry of women's affairs) on Thursday. Please pray that they issue a positive opinion and recommendation for our adoption to the judge without any hang-ups. This must happen for the court on Friday to hear our case.

A representative from the orphanage in Gondar (the original orphanage Lucy was at) is required to be t the court appointment, and will be traveling and bringing Lucy's family member to the court appointment on Friday. Please pray for safe travel and that they are able to bring all necessary documentation that the court will need to complete the relinquishment process. (I am not exactly sure when they are traveling, I would imagine it to be between 9pm Weds our time and 9 am Thursday our time). My heart is kind of heavy for this family member today. I am praying that she has peace about her decision and somehow that she will know how much we already love her.

Please pray that the judge would have no delays to keep her from court that day (there is only ONE judge in all of Ethiopian Federal court who processes adoption cases-if she's not there, no cases are heard, from what I understand). Please pray that all the needed documentation would be there so we can have our case finalized and officially and legally be Lucy's parents!! (This will be happening between 9pm Thursday night and 5am Friday morning our time.)

Lastly, we are praying that we will be able to travel in the first group of May. It may be pushing it for us to squeak into that group, I have been praying that for awhile now. Lucy will be 9 months old on May 7th. We also just found an AMAZING deal on airfare that would only be around $2000 for both of us round trip! But, we would have to begin travel no later than May 6th to get the deal. We would love to be able to take advantage of that amazing fare.

So, that's where we're at. Waiting for one of the biggest decisions of our lives. Butterflies have officially set in. I'm trying to distract myself with projects so I don't just sit around feeling nervous and nauseated :) Instead I'm washing little pink and purple things, doing a little packing and organizing, and praying my face off.

Here's a few pics of yesterday's project....high chair makeover. Some friends of my brother and sister in laws, handed down this nice high chair to us. I was so happy to get a wooden high chair! I've been wanting one, but NOT wanting to spend big $$ on one. This one had been used with two sweet kiddos and needed a little TLC, which I was happy to give! A little black paint, distressing, and new zebra print cover for the pad, and Voila'! good as new and fit a for an Ethiopian princess!

BEFORE:

AFTER

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Counting Down to Court- 5 days!

In honor of the countdown, here's 5 pictures from the fun family shower for Lucy and I this weekend. I have the two BEST sister-in-laws who through a very nice party for us! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful support for this journey.  And let's just say my mom, aka Grammy, is out of control, in a good way :)  It will be good for her pocket book when this little lady is home to keep grammy's arms to busy to shop anymore :)









































L-R Nana (matt's mom), Kate and Rachel (neice and sister in law #1), Gramma Jackie, Grammy Denise (my mom), Elena (Sister in law's sister), Christy (my best blogger buddy), Me, Aunt Cheryl, Stephanie (sister in law #2), Cousin Anna, Cousin Emily, Cousin Mandy (with baby cousin in her tummy)...we missed a few in the picture, Aunt Shari, Cousin Jessica and Kennedy, who had to leave before we snapped a pic :)

We were given wonderful, adorable gifts by all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Single Digits! Count Down-9 days til court!

It feels so odd to say we're finally in a single digit of DAYS to our court date! It's been a loong time coming. We are trying to prepare that it COULD go perfectly and we'd pass through on the first time, and trying to prepare our hearts for the reality that lots of times it doesn't go perfectly on the first court day :).

We are anxious and ready to bring home our sweet baby girl. I was told by a friend in Ethiopia this week, that our little missy was trying to get up on all 4's...I of course told her, "knock her down and tell her to wait for her mama!" I don't want to miss one thing, especially not a biggie like a first crawl! I would be ready to get on a plane at a moment's notice if they told us we could. It's been a long 4.5 months since we first saw that sweet little face. She has grown and changed so much. I try my best to celebrate her health and the fact she's doing so well physically in Gladney's care, but the mama in me wants to shout "STOP! Just WAIT for me to get there!"

We are pray pray praying that we can hop on a plane on May 5th to begin our final leg of the journey to meet our sweet thing!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lull

It sort of feels like I dont' have anything new to blog about these days. We are happily waiting for our court date in 13 days! We are anxious, and calm, at the same time if that's possible! We are so ready to hop on a plane, but we are at peace with God's perfect timing. The weeks leading up to finding out what our court date is feel like the hardest wait yet. It was such a roller coaster for a bit there! We are thankful to finally know we are moving forward. I can't believe we are creeping up on 4 months since our referral! Our girl is growing and developing fast, and I can't help but feel some sadness about missing her new milestones.

We were blessed with new photos and 2 new videos of her this weekend! We learned that she can blow a mean razzberry and she eats/spits out oatmeal very well :) I have been wondering about solid foods, so that was really nice to see. We also learned that she is spending some time on the floor working on her strength...and she's trying to get up on all 4's. I told a friend in Ethiopia to quickly knock her down before she tries to crawl, I want to be there for that one!

We have two local familes who are in various stages of the process with Gladney's Ethiopia program. One who is SO close to getting on the wait list...and another in the paperchase stage. Catching up on both journeys has reminded me how far we really have come and all that the Lord has taught us. This journey has been one to meet our daughter, but God has given US so much. We have been blessed beyond measure, and our hearts have changed in some big ways.

A friend was asking me a bit about our daughters story, and through sharing a bit of it, again it's hit me, how much she has lost in her short 8 months. This friend asked why she was being relinquished. Now, there are some people who ask these questions with no hesitation or idea of appropriate questions. And there are those who ask with a spirit of genuine sensitivity and caring. This was the latter. I really don't mind those...when I shared a bit of her story that we know, what her family has gone through and why they can't keep her...she was taken aback. The words "to save her life" are in our paperwork.  We just don't often see or experience this kind of poverty in our country. If a parent is totally in poverty, yet wishes to raise their own child, there ARE resources to help you do so. Systems to help you. It's just different in Ethiopia. It really is a whole different thing than we experience here in the US of A. (No offense to anyone here in the US, or who's adopted a child in the US...I am a big fan of that too!)

Well, this is starting to ramble on so I'll stop :) Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

sweetness




This family was so much fun and adorable to shoot on one of our beautiful sunny days last week! Two beautiful and happy boys who are loved to peices...These are a few of my faves:


















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