Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
It's been 3.5 years since we brought home our girls from Haiti. I can honestly say that, that was such a hard time for me as a mom. I had to do a lot of attachment therapy for both girls, and reteach their little brains how to cope in various situations. There were daily tantrums, sleepless nights, attachment parenting ALL THE TIME, food issues, surgeries, attitudes and some huge defiant behaviors! On top of trying to be mom to my three othree other boys. I wasn't able to spend much time with my bio boys for those first 6 months. But, all it was worth it in the end. Our girls are secure, very loving, respectful, and healthy. God really stretched me in so many ways!
So, for our next adoption, I was prepared for anything! Including disabilities.
God truly gave us such a wonderful gift with Josiah Blessing! I seriously could not have even imagined it being this good! Josiah is one of the most happy babies I have ever been around. He is forming great attachments with us, always being within eye shot of me, and always rewarding us with smiles. We did take him to church on Sunday. It was great to see that he started recognizing the difference between strangers and our family. When I was in Liberia, he smiled at everyone. Now, he is more reserved in smiling at strangers, and looks to me for assurance. I love that!
His daddy and siblings are so in love with him! I love all the helping hands I have. Having 5 other kids to help is awesome!
No I'm an not thinking about a #7! I was kidding!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Had breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the ocean. I am getting so anxious to finally have my baby boy! My driver shows up on time, and go to the office. Wait for Sydney and Prince to walk to hopspital together. They are needing a few medical reports for the Consulate. Meet his dr.,greet Blessing and his nanny! He looks ready to go, we just have to wait for the bill. ($125 for the six days!). He finally gets discharged!! I am never letting you go little one!!
It's off to the Consulate again to give the medical report and to show off Blessing.
Alma let's me know that Blessings visa should be ready tomorrow by 11!
We go back to the hotel and relax and socialize with the staff and Manager. Blessing charms every single person he comes in contact with! He is such a joy!
I enjoy a huge plate of Liberian rice on the terrace with Blessing charming the staff, and thinking how much was done this week to get to this place. God has been so faithful and given me so much streangth and peace this week. I don't know how anyone could live a life with out our wonderful Father God! I would be completely lost and wondering.
Blessing slept through the night, (due to all the meds he was on). We had a wonderful breakfast, exchanged emails with some staff members, then it was off to the Consulate again. Visa wasn't ready til 2:00, so Tama, Chris and I had lunch at my hotel, checked out, said goodbye to staff. Picked up visa, went to office, no time for orphanage, and off to airport. I was so hot and covered in sweat from running around all day, I needed a shower! Airport was fast, but the employees were pretty rude to me. I never did get all my boarding passes, which later caused some headaches in Brussels. Flight was great, Blessing was an angel, (7 hours), charming everyone in our path! Thank God for the wonderful Brussels air and AA employees. They bent over backwards to get us our boarding passes, that weren't in the computer. We ended up getting a whole row of seats for the 9 hour flight! How awesome!
Blessing was an angel the whole time, we went through immigration, handed over our paperwork, and got out of Chicago before the big storm!
Friday night!! We are home! My beautiful children and husband, all waiting with signs and open arms for us! What a beautiful picture of God's love! So many blessings to be thankful for! Scott did a great job of being dad and mom all week, and Love did great at Jennifers house too!
Liberia has changed me, moreso than Haiti did. I know God has plans for our lives doing something for Liberia. I can't wait to know where He leads!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I will try to write a few things about this experience, as the "cat naps" allow!
We decided that I would make the trip to Liberia, to finish our adoption myself. I had information about the agency we were using, that required me to go get Blessing, and to get this information to the staff in Liberia, before "things" started going downhill. This agency here in the state, which I will not name, has been doing some unethical things. Thank God for such wonderful Christian staff and friends, that were the vital tools to getting everything done! I have such gratitude to all of them!
I left for Liberia on thursday 11/29, got into Monrovia, Liberia on the evening of the 30th. Was picked up by "our" private driver, who Greg and Brandi had already hired for their week stay. Went to the hotel, which by the way, was an awesome hotel! Met up with my "room mate", who is also a double agent...(ha ha).
Didn't get to bed til really late! Saturday was going to pick up Josiah from the orphanage, but then found out he was rushed to the hospital in respitory distress. So we went to the hospital to meet my little guy! Oh my goodness, what a precious Blessing! He gave me the biggest smile a momma could ever want! Found out he had Malaria and Pneumonia, and would be there for a week! I was so dissappointed, but so glad I could see the care he was getting. He was being well taken care of my his nanny, nurses and dr. Went to the office to meet a few staff members.
That night, Greg and Brandi, (and Henry),took our "group" out, along with some staff members, to the Golden Beach Restaurant. It was good food and good time!
Sunday, we went to Pastor Charles' church. Was an hour late because our driver never showed!!! (pretty common though). The service was in a "hut". If there is rain of too hot, the turn out is very few. It was a great African service! Went out to lunch with the pastor, his wife, "our group", and driver. Had great conversation!
By the way, getting around Monrovia is VERY difficult! There are HUGE pot holes everywhere, people everywhere, cars weaving in and out between pot holes, people, and other cars. The horn is your turn signal/warning sign/get out of my way sign!
To go for a 5 mile drive, it takes about 30 minutes! If there is water or sewage on the road, you just go through! It's hot, the air is so polluted by exhaust and dust. I wore a blanked of sweat and dirt every day. Thank goodness of our wonderful hotel room with air conditioning and hot showers!!! The Cape Hotel is what made my stay better than expected! (Plus my "group and roomie!"). The staff was fabulous, the food was good, room was clean, big, had refrig., air, and nice big bathroom. I loved my showers every day! Although, it did leak and left a lake on the bathroom floor everytime I used the shower! Not complaining! The hotel also was across the street from the ocean. So the views were great! Staff was more the accomodating! I was at the hotel for three days by myself, and was so well taken care of!
Monday went to hospital to spend time with Blessing. He is such a sweet smiley little guy! Oh I just fell head over heals for him! Met with the staff and how we would navigate all that needed to be done in less than a weeks time! A lot!!
Went to visit another orphanage who will start adoptions soon. They literally had nothing. Thank goodness for saving donations! "Our group" decided that our donations would be appreciated here, more than the other orphanage who has donations flowing in, and are having to be stored! Makes no sense! Give donations to others who need them people!!!!!
The school and kids at the orphanage, ALL of God's Chrildren, is wonderful! Vera, who is the mom of the orphanage, really has a heart for these kids and their education. I hope to be able to help them more in the future.
By the way, getting to the orphanage required going over this one bridge. Took an hour just to get across, not because it was a long distance, but because of all the cars and people crossing.
Got an appointment with Alma, the Consulate for Tues. Yahoo!
It was our routine for the week, to start off with breakfast in the dining room together. Breakfast was included. Coffee was good! This was such a treat to start off the day with friends and breakfast!
Tuesday, went to hospital, met with staff, went to consulate for initial meeting. Went shopping! This is so fun! Ended up buying a fabulous Large African drum!
Alma, the Consulate, is such a sweet person! She is working so hard on getting kids to families, but done ethically!
Buster, a staff member, made supper for us and brought it to the hotel! We all enjoyed the food, but loved talking with the staff more!
Went over paperwork with Chris that night.
Wednesday. Went to office, hospital, said goodbyes to the rest of my group who were going home!! I felt such a bond to them. We had been through so much in such a short time! Got the news that Blessing would be released tomorrow. Met Blessing birthmom. She is beautiful and is so happy for Blessing. I can't imagine what her heart must be feeling. We were able to spent a lot of time together. We went to the hospital together. She was smiling the whole time! We went to our Consulate appointment without Blessing, which went sooo smoothly! Alma did want to see Blessing once he was discharged! No problem!
Went to the hotel, had a quiet evening, supper on the terrace overlooking the ocean.
I will post the rest later along with pics! Gotta go!
(Love you Brandi and "little bird").
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I am in a state of fog right now, but soooo happy to be back with our whole family!
All the family is enjoying our wonderful new baby boy! He was an absolute angel on the whole trip! His pneumonia is clear and has recovered from malaria, (after 6 days in the hospital).
I can't say enough wonderful things about the AOH staff in Liberia. They are true angels!
I promise details later! Thank you for all the prayers! I felt completely blanketed in prayers my whole trip!
What an awesome God! Thank you Lord for this amazing gift!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
We have found out that our 4y.o. daughter, Love, is quite the prayer warrior! She belts out an amazing prayer. We have completely done away with the memorized versions at supper, and take turns with independent prayers at meal times. One of these days we will secretly record her. It is truly an awesome thing to hear and see the heart of this little girl!!!
We have so much peace and comfort over our adoption. God has truly shown us some amazing things. What an awesome God we serve!!!! What a gift to be a mom to five amazing kids, and another coming home soon! I have also formed some friendships throughout this adoption process, that are so important and such a gift in my life.
Especially the moms who know exactly what I go through during this roller coaster ride of adoption!
Hopefully soon I will have some amazing news to share! We appreciate every single one of your prayers!!
Giving thanks and God Bless!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Homeschooling Anthony is going great! We looked at three farms yesterday, the landscpapes were beautiful, but the houses were never efficient enough for our large family. We trust that God will provide in His perfect timing. All of us are looking forward to living the farm life!
I'm taking the kids to the Minnesota Science Museum after school today. That should be really fun!
We have had some checks come in for our adoption fund! We are up to $760! Thank you to all those who have given! You are such a huge blessing to us!!
Monday, October 29, 2007
As I started posting this morning, these words were being played on the radio. It was a reminder from God..."No matter what we do, no matter what goes on in our lives, ups and downs, He makes it for His glory!"
I have been having a discouraging week, various things going on. But, I call to my God, and he answers with the peace that gets me through. He may not change what is going on at the moment...He may not calm the storm around me, but he does calm me.
Nothing new on Blessing yet. We will hear, in a week or so, if he has been finalized. If not, he will be finalized next month. I am trying to be positive and think of all the things I can get done before we bring him home.
The weather is beautiful today. Sunny skies, and supposedly low sixties this afternoon!
We did get news from our homestudy agency, that we have our foster care license. That's a good step, since it is required for Wisconsin to bring Blessing home.
Still looking for that "perfect" hobby farm for us. Will even settle for just a nice piece of land to start with. There are a few possibilites we are looking at right now, but no clear answers yet. We are getting anxious to start living on a farm. My kids are looking forward to this change, so are Scott and I.
A friend of mine has started teaching me knitting. It's such a great way to sit, think, pray, and make something at the same time. I am finding it a bit addictive!
Homeschooling Anthony is going fantastic. He loves it, and so do I! I love having this time with him. He is such a great kid, kind, compassionate. This time at home will protect that and help him grow in a positive way. Right now, Alex is doing great in our public school, and Edline is getting so much help from her various teachers, that I know I could not give her at this time. Her speech has gotten so lazy lately, we are working hard on not letting her get a way with this. Although she must "think" to speak clearly, this is a lot of work for all of us to stay on top of this.
Tomorrow it is off to the ear dr. for Love once again! She is not hearing well, so this may be another surgery for tubes, third time! As long as she can hear better!
Hope everyone has a blessed day/week!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
After spending about two months being physically ill from different things, I am finally feeling healthy again! Thank God!
Last weeks sermon at church was about, "leaving a legacy." I love this! This is so dear to my heart! I want my children to grow up with compassionate hearts, a desire to help others, and to love God more than anything! Being a family of adoption is such a wonderful way to teach this. So many days have such great teaching moments. We openly talk about our girls' conditions when they came to the orphanage. How healthy they are now, how much their little brains are learning. Even though Edline has a cognative disability, she is my most compassionate child toward orphans. This became apparent when we started talking about adopting again. It's a wonderful thing to see! Another beautiful breakthrough we have has with Edline, is...drum roll please...SHE IS STARTING TO READ!!! This is just huge!!!! For a year we have been working with sight words. This has not worked for Edline, mostly due to her lack of memory recall. Well, this year she is in the LD (learning disability) class instead of the CD (cognative disability) class. They started working on only the sounds of the letters, then learning how to connect the sounds, and she has started reading 1-3 letter words this way. Granted, she seems to have to sounds out every single letter, each and every time. But, she has finally gotten this concept and is loving this!! We are so proud of her! All her teachers are just amazed at her growth! We cannot go down the school hall without someone stopping us and telling us how much they love Edline!
Conferences were this past week. We have excellent reports ACROSS THE BOARD on all our kids! All our kids have the same reports..."very pleasant to have in class." Anthony's last day in the middle school was a bit busy with the whole 6th grade class swarming him, going to miss his presence. I am such a proud momma!
I started homeschooling Anthony this week. What a great start! He loves it! I am really going to enjoy this time with him. I really feel that he will learn so much more this way, and not have the pressures that middle school puts on these kids.
We did get an official "orphan report" this week from Donna at Acres of Hope. This gives us a good idea on how Blessing is doing. It sounds like he is a bit spoiled and very opinionated! Oh he will fit so well in our family! He loves being held, ALL THE TIME, fed A LOT, and does not like a dirty diaper! It sounds like he will be a big boy. I think he is already bigger than when we brought Love home from the orpanage three years ago. (She was the size of a 5 month old, at 18 months of age). He is in a size 2 shoe already! I can't wait to hold my little baby boy!
God has been really working on me in several areas. He is so faithful and loving. So many times I feel the need to "do what I want." He stops me and diverts my path to be alligned with where He wants me to go.
I have an image that appears in my head so many times. It's not a dream, it's how my heart yearns to help orphans. Here it is... I am walking along a dirt road, by myself. I come across a child that is looking at me with empty eyes, this childs body is nothing but bones, sometimes this child has a severe deformity, a child that this place would call..."cursed" or not "worthy" of a life. So many times I see people just walking right past this child, sometimes they are business professionals on their way to work to earn enough to have that expensive car or house. Sometimes they are moms, just driving by to get to their childs soccer game. But, I don't walk by, I go to this child with a heart that wants to heal them, love them, rescue them. This is where the image ends, but the thoughts of the "other " people make me so angry. Okay, so in our regular lives, here in this very rich country, people may not see or imagine this image. But there are so many opportunities to help others. It may be a homeless person, it may be to sponsor a chid, it may be to mentor. There are so many ways to just be Jesus to others. I know that my heart is for the orphans. I truly want to be Jesus to these beautiful gifts that God created. I'm sure God weeps when people pass by these Jesus situations. I know I don't want to cause my God to weep! I want Him to say to me, "well done my good and faithfull servant."
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I have set up a webpage, along with our mailing address and even a paypal account for those who prefer to donate directly online.
Please take a look!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I have realized that my kids need a little more training for when mom is down for the count. Dishes need done, a mile high pile of laundry needs done, groceries need to be bought...WHERE'S MY WIFE? Can I rent one, just until my house is back to normal???? Oh well, I will take care of it LATER! And, I will do it with pure joy!!
Before I was down for the count, we went camping and had a great time. The fall colors are so pretty! We got our campfire and s'more fix. Had a nice hike. We went and saw our little Ellie! She is our first baby alpaca. She was born almost two weeks ago, and is beautiful! She is beautfully brown all over, big black eyes, and all legs! Her mom, who is also ours, is quite the good mom! That is a blessing for alpaca owners. Crias (baby alpacas) are so suseptable to many illnesses and disease, and they are very fragile for the first few months. So having a good mom is the best thing! We are still having our alpacas boarded until we can find a farm or land. We are being pretty picky about this. I know the Lord will bring something in His timing. So, we now have 5 alpacas, and two more crias due in the spring. I will post pics when I get my energy back, the computer is as about as far as I can get right now.
I must go and lay back down! God Bless!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This season of my life seems to be a busy one. We are in the adoption process, we are looking for land or hobby farm, we are expecting three crias (baby alpacas), I will start homeschooling my 6th grader in the next few weeks, continuing to be challenged through parenting my daughter with cognative disabilities, and having my oldest son being a senior this year and starting to see less and less of him!! Some days are hard, but each day I know His blessings continue flowing on us, no matter what we are in the midst of.
Waiting on Josiah Blessings adoption process, has been a little easeir than the first time we went through this with our girls. The girls' room was completely ready for them, 7 months before they got home. I haven't even started tackling organizing Blessings things yet. I guess since he's a baby, it's a little different.
Since school has started, Love, our 4 y.o., is the only one home with mommy right now. So her strong willed personality, is getting a little adjustment from me! She's doing a lot better! She will proably always be a loud, outspoken little girl! Maybe a wrestler too! She gets down with her 12 y.o. brother and gets pretty agressive!!
My 7 y.o. daughter has been regressing a bit with her language. Sometimes her sentences are more like a 2 y.o. Some examples..."Mom, I held Love in." Translation..."mom, I carried Love in the house." Another one..."Mom, what number was I?" Translation..."Mom, how old was I?" Here's one that I had no idea what she was talking about..."what went in and in yesterday?" She also loves to use the word "thing" for words she gets too lazy to think about. We are trying to eliminate THAT word!
Even though she is 7.5 years, her articulation seems to be taking a back seat also. It's really hard for her when there is so much going on in her world, that she forgets to articulate so others can understand her. She is also one that getting her attention, or her to stop moving body parts to listen is getting harder. As she is growing, her disability is becoming more of an issue. Just yesterday I was playing tic tac toe with her. Four times she made the exact same moves, and I made the same exact same moves to win each time. Okay, I wasn't being the mean mom that should let her child win, I was trying to get her to "think" about the next move to try to stop me. She has not gotten to the point where she can think like that yet. Believe me, we are really trying to stimulate her brain in so many ways to get her to work those brain cells. Sometimes we see a little hope. Most times, we don't. She is doing great in school. She has a great LD teacher, speech, OT and a few other specialist that fit in her day. We have no idea what her future holds, we don't see her able to function alone as an adult. A group home seems to be more of a fit. And if you think that she is aware of her 4 y.o. sister knowing more than her, she's not. At least not yet, that may change. I'm hoping it doesnt because it will only make her more aware of her differences. She has come to understand that mom and dad have "special" rules just for her. She's okay with that. She has had too many accidents and knows that pain comes from not listening to us for her safety! (helmet for everything, no running on driveway, no bare feet outside, no necklaces on exept for church, etc. It's a long list)!
I wanted to give you a glimse of our daily life with a "special" child. It may seem like a lot. And, it was in the beginning when we were trying to adjust to parenting her, but now it's just part of our routine. It doesn't feel like it's any more work than the other kids. It's taken over three years to get the flow, but I think we are settled into it now. I truly love her to death, as much as I love my other kids. We love our kids differently, that's it!
I feel like I should be preparing myself for another little one that may be here by the end of the year. But I have so much peace about this adoption, I'm not worrying about it! He will fit, he will bring joy and laughter to our family. God has given me such peace, He wants me to believe in a miracle that He has for us. His timing is perfect! I can't wait to hold our little one!
Monday, September 17, 2007
These are pics taken at "Higher Ground" Christian Music Festival. We decorated our camper. The kids had a ball painting all over. You can't see all of it, but we had all our names and hand prints all over, the Haitian, American and Liberian flags painted all over too!
Waiting for Toby Mac!!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I cannot imagine the thought of losing our Josiah to "red tape." But that is exactly what some families are going through. Some children are even at risk to lose their precious lives due to satans hold on their family members. Some children just lose the battle for their life due to lack of medical supplies and care.
I realize that it is so hard to imagine a country that lacks the simplest things...clean water wells, basic nutrition, access to medical care, education! Yet, Liberians lack these "basic essentials" that we so often take for granted!
Acres of Hope is trying to change this. They provide feeding programs, medical care, schooling. They are increasing the programs to reach more people, including building a new hospital and school, possibly in the very near future.
Acres of hope is also the only orphanage that can and will take "special needs" children. So many of these children are considered "cursed," bringing curses to tribal villages if they have deformities. I can't imagine!!!
Please, if you have a few minutes in your day to pray for Liberia, please, please do!
Praying for the children especially. They are completely innocent! Prayer is a wonderful shield against the enemy!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I have to remind myself that NOTHING is impossible when God is our guide. Some days I look ahead at how much we have to do, our adoption, coming up with travel funds, finding a hobby farm, being "nudged" by God to try homeschooling again, UGH! It can be overwhelming! All I need to do is just look back at how much God has already provided and proven how faithful and awesome He is!
Pursuing a material world, gathering up riches and pocessions,are FOR WHAT? I have finally gotten to the point where I "get" where God has been leading me. My husband, my children, my family and friends, are my riches that God has provided. Having our worldly pocessions are only temporary, and I can't take them to heaven!! I don't need to prove myself to the world. I want to live my life where God leads it. God has given me a heart for orphans. I still am following His lead and what He wants me to do with this. Right now, it's adoption. In the future, maybe it's working for an agency, or orphanage missions, or something else. He has also recently revealed to me, not only a heart for the orphan, but a heart for the orphan with physical deformities. Our Blessing, Josiah, I don't consider having a deformity. God changed my perspective so amazingly. Now, the world may see his deformed hand, but I see a gorgeous baby boy, that needs us, and, he has a cute little hand that has amazing potential!
I can't wait to scoop up my baby boy, touch him, smell his sweet smell, look in those beautiful eyes, and know that God chose him for us! How amazing!
There is a group of moms (and dads) in Liberia right now. Some are picking up their kids, and some are doing work for the orphanage. It is so comforting to know that they will be loving on our little Blessing. We were also told how the nannies sing to the babies at bedtime. How sweet is that????? As hard as it is to wait, I have full confidence that Acres of Hope is providing the most loving and highest quality care for all our little ones. I am so confident with Acres of Hope, and so glad that God led us to them.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As much sadness that has filled our house, it is a good lesson for my kids. They have all cried and grieved. They all understand dying and death and the grieving process through it.
Some may think it's a little silly to get so upset over animals, but they are the ones that don't understand the companionship and love they have provided to each one of us.
Last night as I was pondering the events of the day, I started grieving for all the little ones in Africa that just couldn't hold on. Dying is such an everyday occurance for Liberians. They struggle to survive EVERYDAY, death is always so close to them. It scares me some days, knowing how vulnerable our little guys is. I just have to pray that God continues to watch over our precious one. He is in control, no matter what happens.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
"There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while."
These trial are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whold world." 1 Peter 1, verse 6-7.
This week will be another busy week. We are going to another Christian camping weekend at "Higher Ground," just outside of Minneapolis. They have a camper decorating contest, so we decided to paint the camper with adoption awareness stuff, and pics of our Blessing. If we can make one person more aware of the desperate need to save a child, that is awesome!
Third Day will be the big group there this weekend, and we can't wait!
Patty from Acres of Hope will be meeting with the visa lady, either today or sometime this week. She could use your prayers!!!
Gotta go! God Bless,
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
This weekend was truly a validation to what we are doing with adoptions. Sooooo many children in Liberia, no hope, babies dying everyday, severe poverty, living conditions, etc. I could go on and on. Us as adoptive parents need to be advocates for all those little ones that need to have a families, be saved from such extreme conditions. Patty and Acres of Hope Liberia are doing so much for the orphanage and the local communities. There is so much of a need. God calls us to care for these orphans, this is our responsibility! How can we say no? I truly feel that EVERYONE can do their part. If it's not adoption, it may be providing funds, it may be providing labor, providing contacts to "get things done", it can be anything!! Sending donations, talking to others who have resources...
God has really stirred my heart, AGAIN. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I will be doing something with this calling He has given me.
Another great piece of info we got from Donna, was that our little Blessing may be home by the end of the year. Since this is our second round through the adoption process, I realize that 'anything' can happen, so, it would be FABULOUS to get our baby home by then, but if he's not, God's timing is perfect!!
I gotta go do a ton of laundry now!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
What an awesome God we serve! Just when I thought I would go crazy, wondering about our approval, God picks me up and shows me something amazing!
Not only did we get approval, we are approved for "special needs." So our little Blessing is one more step closer to us! Our social worker has been so great througout this. She made this happen for us! She faxed the necessary things that were needed, and got the approval the same day. How awesome is that?
Just had to share this amazing step (hurdle) we are done with!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The million and one things that have been going through my mind lately...not only adoption stuff, but hobby farms, alpacas, parenting skills, and look at how my house gets messy so quick!!! I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time and bible reading. Today the thought of "what kind of legacy do I want to leave this world" came to me. I KNOW I won't be known for having a neat and tidy house! Or, a large house with a room for every child. Or the pile of money I will leave my kids (NOT)! With all that is in me, my deepest desire is for my children to have a "true heart of love" for our Lord. I want them to be able to hear Him. I want them to KNOW Him. I want them to follow Him! The best way to do this is by example. Okay, here is where I need GRACE! I flub up everyday! But do my kids know I love God? YES! Do they know I am not ashamed to share what He does for us? Yes! They also know that my love for them is deep. I hope they know that their FATHER GOD's love is even deeper. I am trying to teach them. While God teaches me, EVERYDAY, sometimes by the minute, I hope I am teaching my children. I want to leave a beautiful legacy, the beauty of my children, loving the Lord, and someday all of us worshipping at His feet!
Monday, July 23, 2007
This is our little Blessing! We have been waiting for our I171-H approval, before we made our announcement. We still are waiting on the approval, but could not hold in our excitement any longer!
We received our referral on July 9th. God has been so good! We had inquired about another little boy that had special needs. We prayed and God told me "no." The very next day, we got the call on Blessing. We have talked about being open with a special needs child. We were very specific on what we would be comfortable with. When Donna at Acres of Hope called and told me about Blessing, I just knew he was the one that would just "fit" in our family unit!!!! Acres of Hope does not usually give out referrals before the I171-H approval, so we are an exception! Blessing was born on May 24th 2007. He is a true miracle of a baby! I won't reveal the personal history that makes him such a miracle to us, this is something we will hold close to our heart, and reveal only to Blessing when he is old enough to understand. God has truly shown us how amazing His love is, and how he is giving us this wonderful task of raising this precious little one.
As I said before, Blessing is a special needs. He is missing his right hand fingers, but has little digits that look like toes! Not much of a disability to us! We are pretty sure all those little (toe-fingers), will work for even grasping small objects. He is one of the most beautiful baby boys I have laid eyes on. (Besides our other boys)! We can't wait to get this little guy home so we can love on him!!! All our kids are soooooo excited and talking about what they will do when he gets home. We all know that this process will take awhile. We also know that God's timing is perfect! We have experienced His perfect Will and Timing with our previous adoption.
Blessing will have the new name of...Josiah Blessing.
We would appreciate all your prayers for every step of this adoption. They are so important to us!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Sonshine 2007...waiting for Toby Mac! Alex is a huge fan!
Cute pic of hubby. ( Notice the blue tongue behind him)! Hi Linda!
My swimming girls!
*If you feel led, we would appreciate prayer on our I-171H approval to come in the mail! (This is a big step toward our adoption)!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Toby Mac was probably the best! I have never seen a better show! The crowds for his concert were a little overwhelming, some rudeness, but we made it through. We also saw a ton of other very popular bands.
One of the sermons was on "getting dirty." How, we as Christians should be more open to loving on all the "dirty" people, showing them Jesus. Not hiding in our nice little churches, looking like we have the perfect life, not welcoming them with open arms into our churches. Who are we to be so superior? Aren't we all dirty in some way or another? Their may be a prostitute, drug dealer, gang member, who will not step into a church because of the attitudes that have been witnessed from "us Christians." How can they feel a refuge in such a place as we are making our churches? They can find Jesus in other ways, but the church should ALWAYS be a place that they KNOW they can come to. The sermon also taught the basic fact that we are dirty!! Sin is dirty! BUT..."GOD GOT DIRTY SO WE COULD GET CLEAN!" Jesus was that sacrifice so that we could be clean in Our Father God's eyes! How amazing and humbling that is!!!
So when we were walking back to our camper after one of the concerts, my 4 y.o., Love, said..."If we get muddy, God can clean us up!" Wow! Coming from a little child, how much impact that had on me.
Friday, July 6, 2007
On Tues., my wonderful husband and teenager, drove all the way to Chicago to pick up our new camper, (well used, but new to us). I have missed camping this past spring, and can't wait to go in the Fall, and to "SONSHINE" next week! Our last camper had three bunks in the back and our bed up front. Our new camper has four bunks in their own room. All five kids can fit now, even adding another little one can fit. It's just perfect for us!
I am anxiously waiting for the mail everyday now!!! I can't wait to get an approval so we can move onto the step of waiting for a child referral. The name of the adoption game is WAIT...wait...wait...then wait some more, until finally the time to pick up your child is here!! I realize we have a long way to go, but it is nice to be at this point. Today I was just imagining holding my little boy on my chest...mmmmm so sweet! I am looking forward to the day I can put a face and name to him.
Yesterday was a tough day with my daughter. If she doesn't have sufficient sleep (13 hours), her behavior can end up being very frustrating to me. At the end of the day, I was emotionally spent. But, God was there to remind me, how many times I can annoy Him with my behaviors! I can ask for that forgiveness He graciously gives, and it's gone! I ended up having a heart talk with my daughter, trying to repeat myself A LOT (the only way she can re-call things), giving hugs and telling her "thank you for making me a better mom." "God gave me you to make me better." I truly believe that!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Last night we went to St. Paul for the fireworks show. It was great! Unfortunately, the family that was right by us, seemed to have very few parenting skills. Their kids were screaming, having tantrums, all while they are telling them to "shut up," belittling them, making empty threats, swearing at them. I really wanted to say something, but I was a little afraid of getting smacked...
It did make me appreciate my kids' behavior. They were sooooo good, even though we had to wait for an hour and a half for the show to start. Five of us ended up cuddling on the blanket while waiting. I just soaked up the beautiful sight!!
Sunday sermon really hit home with me. I struggle daily with giving everything up to God. It's my human flesh trying to be my own God. I struggle with all the blessings we have around us, taking advantage of all the riches. Our family is so blessed to be where we are...a Free country, a home, family, food, clothes, and all the bonus stuff...cars, boat, able to stay at home with my kids, etc. Last night as I was watching the fireworks, my heart was saying, "well there goes money exploding in the air that could have fed a whole orphanage for a few years!" Adopting has certainly opened our eyes to another side of the world that so many can't even comprehend. I have looked into a child's eyes that has been abandoned, starved, sickly. My whole being just wants to save them!!!! I don't want to be a person that can walk by a need, and hope that others will notice. I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS! I don't want to miss opportunities. We have so many blessing around us, I just want to share them. This is one reason we are choosing to adopt again. Yes, we have struggled with issues that have come up. But who doesn't struggle?? We have come through so many hard times...but miracles have happened...a saved marriage, a child's healing, a heart change, etc. God can do anything! I believe there is a miracle just waiting to happen. Please join me in prayer for a child's miracle. I can't share the specifics, but would appreciate prayer so very much!
Next week we are going to a three day Christian camping festival, Sonshine Festival! It is so awesome to watch our favorite music artists...Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, etc., in this type of concert fest. Worshipping in the beautiful outdoors! It's an amazing experience. The kids are so excited, but Andrew will be going on a vacation with a friend this year, so we will miss him.
I must go...taking four kids to the store for some necessary supplies for the 4th!!
Everyone have a blessed 4th of July!!!!
Thank you God for this wonderful Country of ours!!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Not much more to report...
Have a great weekend
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Last night we had a pretty big thunderstorm that brought some hail with it. The windows sounded like they would crack or shatter! It didn't last long, and we did need the rain. This morning when I was getting Edline on the bus, we were greeted by these beautiful flowers! It has taken two years to get these babies to bloom.
Anthony had a baseball game lastnight and hit his first double! We were so proud! Alex has a game tonight. It is so fun watching our boys enjoy the game so much.
Not much more to report today. Kids will probably go swimming again.
Our hummingbirds continue to give us cheap entertainment. We have a constant stream of hummingbirds on our feeder. They are right on our deck and don't mind us so close to them. They give us a little stare down if they are out of the nectar, so I have to always keep on top of keeping it fresh.
Have a blessed day!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I asked Edline what she would like for breakfast, and this is how the conversation went. "Can I have those things?"(as she was motioning something small with her hands).
"Edline, what is a thing?"
She already was starting to get frustrated that I couldn't read her mind. So I had to stop the mopey's in it's track, and get her to try to explain.
"If you don't know what you are trying to tell me, try to tell me what it looks like, where it is, what it tastes like." Me, smiling, talking in a gentle voice.
"I want toast." Edline
Edline, looking at me as if I'm going to give her spinach. "Can I just show you where there at?"
"No Edline, you need to try to use your words." me
She is getting really frustrated with me, but knows I will not back down or let her walk away without finishing what we started, (this is from experience)!
Edline, "those bread sticks."
"Edline, we don't have bread sticks."
"There in the freezo. They go in there," (pointing to the microwave).
Now, at this point, I know that she has had enough of trying to verbalize her intention, so to avoid a melt down, or more mopies, I guide her to the anwer.
"Edline, do you mean french toast sticks?" me
She nods her head, but I make her say it so she hears herself say it.
I praise her for sticking with it and trying to explain it all out. We hug, I make her french toast sticks, and we move on!
Okay, so, we have had french toast sticks in our house for years. This is not something new. But for Edline to verbalize such things, is very difficult. I don't always have the patience, but I never let her get away without trying to work it out in her brain, to make those connections. In her world, no matter how many hundreds of times she has heard something, a lot of the times, the connection can't be made to verbalize it. Sometimes the connection is even lost, where something she has seen, heard, etc., over a few dozen times, ends up being completly new. A window can be a door, or vice versa. A driveway can be a sidewalk, or vice versa. This is just one of our daily situations. Parenting her is very different than parenting our other kids. I have confidence that the older she gets, the easier it will be for her to talk herself through to get to the answers. Thank God that she is so forgiving of me, because there are times when my patience is not there. When I look at her, I see such a beautiful daughter, who does try sooooo hard. I don't know what her future holds, but I do know that she will reach her greatest potential with us and the unending help of Our Heavenly Father!
On a different note...last night we had a late night, due to Anthony's baseball game. Alex went to sleep on our floor (again), Love had a snotty/bossy attitude lastnight, so ended up going to bed earlier. I finally got to the Sunday paper at 10:00 last night. Andrew also was playing his guitar for Scott and I last night. He is so gifted musically. That comes from my husband! Andrew can listen to a song, and play it out on his guitar, or write a whole percussion to it. He is currently working on getting songs for the drumline for Fall. He played me three of them yesterday. It just blows me away how he can do that!
We are still looking for land. We are praying over a 21 acre piece, wondering what to do about it. Not sure if we should wait, keep looking, or buy.
On the adoption front, just doing the waiting game. We are waiting on the I600a approval, so then we can do some more waiting on a referral. That alone can take months. We are in no hurry. Since this is the second time around going through the process, the urgency is just not there. I know that God has perfect timing!
God Bless your day!
Monday, June 18, 2007
One of these struggles I'll post about today. The Lord gave me a task, that, some days, I don't know what He was thinking!! This task is parenting a special needs child. For those of you who don't know our story, our Haitian daughter, adopted three years ago, has significant cognative disabilities, among other diagnosis'. I would not have chosen this for our family, but God had a different answer. We knew nothing about our daughters disabilities until she was home with us, time passed, and recognized something serious was going on. Parenting her has been so challenging some days, stretching me in so many uncomfortable ways!! But through all this, we know our daughter just fits, we love her dearly and cannot imagine life without her. She has the most beautiful face, happy disposition, (most days), and is the most loving child in our whole family. She has grown leaps and bounds in our family, and will reach her greatest potential with us. I cannot explain the emotions that go along with parenting her, only those who have parented a special child, knows what we go through on a daily basis. What everyone else will see, is a child who is happy, full of energy, polite and eager. For those who are reading this and are considering adopting, read, read, read! Everything you can, including getting on email groups and reading others experiences. That has been the greatest resource for us. Now that I know how to parent a "special needs" child, would I "choose" to do it again with another child? No. I would consider a medical needs child though. Through our next adoption, if we received another child like our daughter, would we be disappointed? NOPE! I know that God has controlled all of this. He knows what He's doing. I don't! I love ALL my kids sooooo dearly. I love being their mom. I just have to lay it down, and let God to His work, and pray, pray,pray!!!!!
I hope that this post has not been a downer for some of you. It's the vulnerable truth about our reality. I'm not going to be one to sugar coat things, or tip toe around so others see only the "rosy" things in our life.