Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter 2011-"He's alive. He's alive."

(Thank you Emily!  If you haven't seen this, it is awesome in the true sense of the word.)

Sweet Bella woke up saying, "He's alive! He's alive! He's not dead!"  I love the faith and conviction that she has.  This year we were missing Andrew.  Since he is coming home for the summer in a week and a half, we did not want to spend the $ to fly him home.  We had a small but special celebration, though.  Love these days to look back on.  The days are long but the years are short.  One of our new traditions, started by Bella...Bella wanted to go around the table and tell each person one thing that we are thankful for.  So Bella started.  For daddy she was thankful for him playing with her and making her laugh.  For me, for being the best mommy in the whole city.  For Zach, for sharing his candy, and teaching her to ride her bike.  For Eliza, for painting her nails, and being the "best sista eva".  She hugged each person as she told them what she loved about them.  Then she had us each do it.  Not sure where she saw or heard about this tradition, but it was so sweet that I would like to take credit for it but I can't. Yes, we will do it throughout the year.

Bella had her 4 year check up.  It is so fun to see her grow.  She is definitely slowing down a bit-to a more normal rate of growth.  My advice to people who have gotten their referral and are about to pick up their child...don't over buy in the clothes department.  Bella came home wearing 18m and is now wearing 4 and some 5s.  That is in 18m time!  Her foot grew from a 6 to an 11.  She went from not being on the charts for height to being over the 50%. She has grown over 11inches (I actually thought 12 but...11 is good!)  They like to see her age have over 10 words in a sentence.  My doctor laughed at that.  She is a chatter box.  On all fronts she is doing so nicely.  We are constantly amazed at her!

Adoption #2 front:  So now we wait for our appt to be fingerprinted for CIS.  Moving at a slow but steady pace.  Love CHI/YWAM.  Love the updates.  Love the communication.  Love what I hear about the care of the babies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Fancy Nancy" Night

We are having a "stay-cation" because Eliza has drivers ed everyday from 9-4 during school vacation.  But there was no other time to do it, so....  Truly, with 2 trips to Ethiopia within the year, I am fine with not spending the money.  We took Bella to the zoo in the morning.  Then, last night, Zach had ODP 1 1/2 hour drive away for a 2 hour practice.  Jason took him.  (I think he may have pulled the short straw.)  I took Eliza, and Bella to get our nails done and then out to a "Fancy Nancy" dinner.  Anyone with a little girl knows who Nancy and her best friend are.  Little girls who love oolala and magnifique and fantastique and bonjour and  any other word that is fancy.  When Bella saw the dessert, she said "Oolala this is my faaavorrrite."  We had such a nice evening and then came home to relax with the boys.

*** CIS form overnighted today :)  The only thing left really to work on...our police letter stating that we have no record.  Why is this a problem, you ask?  Because this is the third one we have had to request!  The first two have had notary errors.  Do you think that God thinks that I have not mastered the lesson on patience?  Or maybe He is working on my sense of humor.  I even offered a bribe of cookies.  Getting closer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


What gets you through your rocky terrain?

For Bella its red cowboy boots:)

For me it is definitely my faith.  My faith in His character.  My faith in His love for us.  When we first started this adoption, the fear of the "what ifs and hows" were kept at bay during the day by prayer and busy-ness.  But at night the doubts and fears would sit and wait until the very moment that sleep lightened and they could worm their way in... What if this little one did not adjust as seamlessly as Bella?  What if I don't love this little one as much as I love all my other children?   How are we going to pay for this adoption and college for one now and two in the near future?  (Just to name a few.)

I am not an anxious person.  I don't usually wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.  A few months ago, in the beginning of this process, I did.  Wow, not fun!  I was agitated and anxious about the money that we would have to pay pretty quickly in the process.  An alphabet soup of the large dollar amounts that would be due soon swam around in my head mixed in with words like tuition payments.  I did not know what to do to calm my racing heart.   Pretty quickly, I did turn to prayer.  I prayed that if this was His will,  I was going to need Him to give me some comfort.  I was going to trust Him (something I learned through our first adoption).  I wanted to adopt so much but there were so many reasons why I should be satisfied with the happy healthy family I had.  The prayer took a little longer than that.  His peace did take over that racing heart.  In the process the numbers started to make sense.  I even was brave enough to add them up.  It was a big healthy sum...several thousands of dollars.  Let's call that number n.  Then I remembered that Jason had told me he was receiving an unexpected check...interest on a business loan.  Guess how much the check ended up being for...yes, you got it. N.  Not a penny more.  Some may say coincidence.  Not me.  I have had too many of these this go around!  At some point, I am sorry, but it is what I call God-incidences.  So many with Bella.  That was the first for Teddy Bear, maybe I will post about some of the others, too.   The most amazing thing has been recognizing God's fingerprints much sooner, than I use to.  From-who I am going through the process with, to-how the timing is working out.  What I am learning is His plan is so much bigger and better than I would have dreamed it to be.  God can do much more than anything we can ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special day, busy weekend, and adoption update

8 years ago I got a call that rocked my world.  That moment plays like a slow motion movie.  The sound warbled.  The information came in bits and pieces.  The result still the same.

I remember the initial call came in as "Mom's been in an accident."  I am even embarrassed to admit but I thought that my mom would have been at fault.  I use to tease her about being an airhead.  She use to zip around in her convertible, playing music, with a smile on her face.  I could see her getting in a fender bender.  My first prayers were please don't let her have hurt someone.  My prayers were answered but not in the way I expected.  As more news came she had been hit by a car walking across the street with my adopted 8 year old brother. They were walking from the parking lot to the church for a special service.  She managed to push Chris out of the way.  She died at the scene or in the ambulance, the detail never seemed important to me.  She was 62.  The mother of 6 children, two of which were adopted.  The man who hit her just did not see her.  He was a father of 4.  About ten years older than she was.  He was changing stations on his radio and turning onto a busy street.  To this day I am so thankful for the God's grace in allowing me to forgive him immediately.  My sisters have had a harder time.  They were so angry with him.  That anger is so heavy.  Something my mom would have never wanted.  By the time I flew down and got to the house, it was too late.  But just seeing her recipe box open and the recipe of what she had been cooking out, the message she left on my machine that day, or the letter that she had thrown in the mail that morning...such gifts!  I will always miss her.  But she knows that.

The only child of mine she did not meet was Bella.  I know that she would have loved Bella, and Bella would ahve adored her.  She was fun, kind, and gentle.  So today we talked and prayed for Grammy.  We went to the beach before church.  Grammy loved the beach and Grammy loved little kids:)  So she would have loved how we celebrated her life.

So now onto a lighter subject.  We had so much fun at R and A's birthday party.  Bella loves these girls. Followed up by a Fasika celebration planned by this amazing mom.  By Saturday night, we were exhausted.  But you have to laugh at the way of a 4 year old.  This was Bella on the way to the Fasika celebration:

Two minutes later:

And maybe a minute later:

On the adoption front...we are home study approved, waiting for the hard copy so we can submit to CIS.  Yeah!!!!  I am loving CHI/Ywam.  I wish I could have gone to the Mom's night out that they had in WA.  But as you can see this weekend could not have fit in one more activity:)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Dance

Let me remind you that I do not dance (or sing) in public.  I am tone deaf and rhythm challenged.  But I am learning.  But this dance that I am talking about is actually the adoption dance.  With Bella's adoption....the week was broken down to the emotions that the day of the week evoked.  The dance went sort of like this:

Monday: no communication with Belay so no new news was coming that day but the seed of hope would be planted.  This was going to be the week that we got our referral, or court day, or we passed court (and when we didn't), or they fixed the problem.

Tuesday: a good day, hope was growing

Wednesday: the best because we would have a conference call if it was the end of the month or there was a really good possibility that good news was coming this day or the next

Thursday: disappointment taking root, would another week pass with no news?

Friday: crushed, I would have to wait another three days before news came.

Jason could tell the day of the week by how fragile my mood was.  So the dance played out for the better part of the year.  The hurry up to wait.  The stalking the Gladney FBI or other blogs.  Can't you see it as a ballet?  Can't you see the building of tension mid week?  The conductor waving the hands and the excitement building only to come crashng down for the weekend.  The weekend was restorative and healing.  Gosh, the only thing that kept me sane were the prayers, mine and those of dear friends.

This adoption is already playing out differently.  I am learning a new dance.  I must be getting to be a better dancer because this one seems a whole lot easier.  I don't seem to be riding the waves up and down.  I am filling my mornings with Bella activity, bible study, and cleaning (always cleaning).  I am filling my afternoons with sports activities and listening to teenage happenings (and silent prayers for me to have the wisdom to say the right thing or better yet, say nothing.)  I have learnied that our weekly update comes on Thursday.  (What???  A weekly update???)  So Thursday no longer means what it use to.  That is one of the subtle differences.  I am learning new steps.  I am exercising muscle memory, too.  Stay tuned and I will let you know if I make it to the finals.

So the next question...does the reputation of the school (being good) trump diversity or does diversity trump reputation of the school?  I have to make a decision for Bella's school in the next 10 months.  We live around the block from the elementary school that my older kids went to.  Bella really would like to go there, also.  I have already told her that she may not be going there (she may be one of maybe 3 AA kids in the whole school), that Daddy and Mommy must decide the best place for her and it may be different.  I am thinking about applying to a school that has in the past had much more diversity (last year had 4 AA in the kindergarten class!) even though the school around the corner may (stress, may) be a little better.  Hmmmm.  Any thoughts?  Any life experience?  Fill me in.