"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Friday, April 28, 2006

I think I'm in labor!~

You know that point of labor where you decide it hurts too badly and may be I can't do this.. but you know you have to because more than anything you want that sweet precious little babe in your arms.

I am so excited to go and get our baby ! I can't actually believe it's happening.. and yet my heart keeps "catching" .

All week it's been happening..it began Sunday at church when friends, loved ones, mere aquaintances would approach me and say "We're praying for you!" how humbling that my brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for us and our wee little baby. How I will miss worshipping with them on Sunday.

Then it's the little things, things that happen all the time and you don't really notice.. until you relaize you won't be there to notice them. My handsome dh playing football with our son out in the field. Our children playing in the yard as the sun shines on their sweet little faces. The cute little pat thing our baby does to my back when I hold him. The melodic way our 3 yo says "Mama" as he strokes my face... Saying good-bye last night to my friends at a shower they threw for me.. the phone calls from loved ones for "one last chat" before we head to Africa....

It's going to be so hard to say good-bye to my precious husband and children. I am so blessed to have them. They bring a song to my heart..I will miss them desperately.

I have found when you are at that point in labor (called the ring of fire) the best thing to do is to push through. So somehow, some way, I will push through and get on that plane for the joy of bringing Wee Little Baby Boy into our family.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Poor Sweetie!~


Our poor 3 yo is S-I-C-K

I was finishing up my workout last night at around 10:30 p.m. (Yesterday was a tad busy!) when two of my dds rush into the room to tell me our 3 yo had just thrown up. They told me they would take care of him. I got off my stepper and tried to mop off all of that icky sweat (EWW!) as quickly as I could. Before I could say "Jiminy Cricket!" they had him bathed and resting comfortably on the couch with his favorite orange shirt on (the one with the pocket- you know how kiddies love pockets), his favorite monkey stuffed animal, his favorite baby doll, his beanie Clifford, a sippy cup of Ice Ouha (water), books, and his Captain Feathersword.

I think I may need to pray for his future wife. She is going to have a man who is used to being pampered :o).

I am blessed to have such sweet dds!

Poor little one was up most of the night with coughing and fever. Praying for a quick recovery as we are leaving in less than 48 hours!!

Oh, and in case you are wondering what dh was doing during all of this he was fixing a leak in his radiator (Yes, at 10:30 at night). It's been quite the happening week!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy B'Day Wee Baby Boy!




Today, April 27th, 2006 is Wee Baby's First Birthday!!! Our agency e-mailed a copy of his new birth certificate and we could see his official birthdate listed. It's so awesome to see our names listed as his parents. It makes it feel so offical.

Oh, how we wish we could be with our Baby on this special day! We will celebrate when he comes home. What a blessing to know he will celebrate every B'day from here on out with us, his family.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Solomon 6:3~


I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine... Solomon 6:3


My dear sweet hubby has been so wonderful to me this week! Yesterday he surprised me by bringing home all of this food for my dd and I to bring to Ethiopia. He even bought some of my favorite teas~pomegranate pizazz. What a sweet surprise!

This trip will be the longest my dh and I have been apart in our 14 years of marriage. I will miss him horribly. He is a wonderful Daddy and a wonderful husband. He is the godliest person I know and he is my best friend. He truly loves me as Christ loves the Church and I thank God for him.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Psalm 118:24~







This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (KJV)

We had such a lovely day yesterday! It is another "Birthday Weekend" for our family. Our ds is turning 4 and we are celebrating our 1 yo ds' birthday as he will turn 2 next weekend when we will be on a plane bound for Ethiopia!~ :o)


So yesterday we headed to the zoo! Four year old Birthday Boy is crazy for giraffes. He even has an imaginary pet giraffe (it's too cute). He was so very excited to see the giraffes. We were so surpirsed when we got to the giraffes that they were hanging out right next to the overlook. Usually they are far off. As we approached the railing one of the giraffes bent over and licked the Birthday Boy's hand!!! It was so amazing! He was thrilled and talked all day how the giraffe "kissed" him. Isn't God good to have a giraffe bless my little B'day boy that way?



Other memorable moments were when a school field trip class was passing and the teacher/chaperone grabbed my 6 yo dd and put her in the line fussing at her for getting out of line :o/ I grabbed her back and said (sweetly of course), "Excuse me, but she's mine." So she tunred around and grabbed the B'day Boy "I said he's mine too!" I can tell you we laughed all the day about that. The kids couldn't wait to tell Daddy about it.

We also rode the carousel! It was our Ethiopian boys' first time. Our 1 yo was so excited as we strapped him on his eagle (they aren't horses at our zoo they are all different kinds of animals). Our 3 yo started to cry as I strapped him on his rhino. 11 yo ds was holding onto 1 yo so I talked to 3 yo and he calmed down all while he is squeezing onto my neck frantically. The ride started and 3 yo LOVED it he was laughing and enjoying the ride and then 1 yo lost it. Poor baby! Ds and I switched places and I ended up unstrapping 1 yo and holding him which made him happy :o)

Funniest comment was when 3 yo looks excitedly up ahead and says, "Look Mama there's some cannibals!" Anyone want to guess what animal he saw?

The kids were commenting on how it was the best day we had ever had at the zoo. They concluded that it was because it was the first time we had been to the zoo since our boys had come home and it was much more fun with them :o)













Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jeremiah 33:3

Call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3


So, my little heart was acting like Jonah and running away from the Lord. It was a miserable place to be in. Thankfully, the Lord didn't send a big fish after me.. He sent a preacher...

Sunday morning came around and I was delighted to learn that our old Youth Pastor would be preaching in the service. I eagerly awaited his message until he said the title "Don't waste your life"... ooh ouch. The Scripture he read was Acts 8:26-40~~~ You know the story of PHILIP and the ETHIOPIAN eunuch. I stifled the urge to tell the other 1499 people there that they could go home because obviously this message was for me! ;o) The Preacher began to preach and every verse, every illustration, every point was chisleing away at my heart. By the end of service I asked God to forgive me and told Him I would trust Him. You see it wasnt' that I didn't want another child.. I was afraid of the pain and the loss. God was asking me to trust Him.

I may never understand on this earth why our first children never came home to us. It is a wound in my heart.. it doesn't make sense to me.. but what I do know is that our God is a GOOD God. He loves those precious children and He loves me. He is the one who was with me through every step and he caught every tear I cried. He is faithful!

We once again began the paperchase..It went really well and really fast. Shortly after our Dossier went to Ethiopia we had a referral! Oh, a beautiful 8 month old boy.. Our Philip...



We waited for our court date and dreamed of the day our baby boy would be coming home. One day we received a group e-mail from Merrily at AAI about a little boy who had been waiting a long time for a family (15 months). He had been struggling for some time with a bad case of Molluscum. He was also adamnatly opposed to having his picture made. I believe Merrily described him as a wiggly and bumpy boy.

I couldn't get this little guy off of my mind as I went about my day. I prayed for him and that he would find a loving family. After a couple of hours I could take no more and decided to ask my dh what he would think if we adopted him. Our Homestudy approved us for two children.. I called him and held my breath for his response and knew it was from the Lord when he said, "You're not going to believe this but I was JUST thinking we really should adopt two children instead of one." I called Merrily and told her that we love wiggly bumpy little boys.. She laughed and said "Well, he sure is that!" She said we would be able to adopt him but we had to decide ASAP as our case was due to be filed in court any day. They faxed medical reports and e-mailed pics, but in our hearts it was already done.. we had another son..



And on July 23, 2005.. God kept that promise He had made to me more than two years earlier..

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west." Isaiah 43:5

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Isaiah 43:5

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west Isaiah 43:5


So, how did we get from China to Ethiopia... The story is a long one that spans over two and a half years.

We immediately began investigating adopting from China. Every agency we spoke with though told us that we had too many children. The limit was four children in the home. We were sad but clung to those famous words from "The Sound of Music" when God closes a door somehwere he opens a window.

We began looking into Guatemala and immediately I fell head over heels for those precious little children.

After much research and prayer my dh told me that he didn't feel called to Guatemala. I was so sad and a little pouty ;o) Later that evening I cracked open my Bible and this is what I read Psalm 27:14: "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" that was my answer and we waited..

We were drawn to another country and began the process. We flew through our paperwork in record time. We accepted the referral of two beautiful children, a little girl 2 and a little boy also 2. We were told they would be home by Christmas and we were so excited! During this time I received a word from God. I was sitting in our Wed. night service and our pastor was preaching on claiming the promises in Scripture. The Holy Spirit whispered in that still small voice Isaiah 43:5... I turned there and read and was amazed at what a personal God we have. I tucked that verse in my heart never knowing how it would sustain me..


A few months in the process our agency called us and told us that our son's birth mother had come and taken him. We were very sad to lose this little one but understood that it was the birth mother's choice and God's will. About a month later we recieved the referral of another little boy, a 1 yo. He was a doll. We were told that court could happen at any time and we prepared their room for them. The beds were done, the clothes hung in the closet, the little shoes...black patent leathers for her~~ itty bitty cowboy boots for him... and we waited... for 2 years we waited. It was so hard. Everytime the phone rang I was sure it was "the call". Every holiday and every birthday I would think this is the last one and then they will be home.. After two long years we learned that they would NEVER come home. Our hearts were devastated, broken, crushed... these were the children of our hearts and our dreams.

During the years we waited I had begun to read some adoption lists. I was particularly touched by a family who adopted a little one from Ethiopia. I loved sweet little Abel's story and I was so impressed with the agency they used, AAI. I began to tell my dh that after our two little ones were home we needed to adopt from Ethiopia. I joked with him that I even knew it would be a baby boy and we would name him Philip as I had heard a sermon from John MacArthur called the Master's Men about the bond between Nathanael and Philip. We had a Nathanael and I was sure we would have a Philip from Ethiopia. He laughed at me..

When it became obvious that our adoption was in serious trouble I was emotionally devastated. One day my dh called me from work and told me to start looking into the process for Ethiopia. I told him I would, but my heart wasn't into it. It was a Friday and AAI's Ethiopian staff didn't work on Friday, so I was told to call on Monday.

Over the weekend my hurt turned into rebellion. I basically told God that I would not adopt from Ethiopia or anywhere else for that matter. I told Him, "Forget it!" and determined that we would just be regular people who lived their lives. That we would no longer be people who lived in a perpetual state of adoption. I even thought my dh could buy a new truck with the money we would save on not adopting.. one of those Harley Fords he liked so much..

I was through with the world of adoption. God however, had other plans......

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

James 1:27~

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Jamees 1:27

Shortly after our boys came home I was speaking with a lady from our church who has two adopted boys. She was trying to wrap her mind around the fact that we adopted two boys after we already had five children. She struggled to understand and finally just said "You just must really love children." Yes we do! We love children and believe that each child whether born into a family through birth or through adoption is a BLESSING. So many people have commented on how "Lucky" our boys are but the truth is that we are the ones who are being blessed mightily.

How it all started...

I had just had our 4th baby and I was listening to Focus on the Family as I was making dinner. It was a woman sharing her testimony of how she adopted a little girl from China. God spoke to my heart so clearly that He was going to bless us with a child from another part of the world. I was crying and crying and my dh walked in the door. I blurted out "We need to adopt a baby from China!" and he turned around and said "Uh, yeah right!" (Probably not an unusual response for a man who came home to a crying wife with a newborn in her arms and 4 children under 5!)

I knew though that somehow some way God would make a way.....I never even really brought it up with dh again. Everytime we would see a little one of Asian descent I would say "Oh look honey!" and he knew my heart. But I never nagged or pressured.

We went on the have baby #5. When he was 8 months old my dh called me on the phone just as we were done hsing. I was having a hard time hearing him and finally realized he was crying...sobbing. Scared me to death. Finally he said," Honey I have to tell you about something that happened years ago." I said "No, please DON'T I don't care what it was I forgive you." He laughed and said, "No, silly it's nothing like that. You are going to WANT to hear this." He then proceeded to tell me that the night he came home and I told him we needed to adopt from China that the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart at that moment too but he didn't want to accept it. However, that morning he was at work and he met a blonde haried lady and a little girl from China and He said God got all over him and he knew we had to adopt. He told me to immediately start looking into adopting 2 children!!

Here is what our family looked like as we started this amazing journey!!




I'll share more later on how God led us to Ethiopia..

Monday, April 17, 2006

He is RISEN!

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!


What a wonderful Resurrection Day we had! The Holy Spirit moved in the most amazing way and 68 people made commitments to Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! Praise Jesus for being a living and loving God! We were blessed to be part of a glorious service!!
















Thursday, April 13, 2006

James 1:17




Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17


He is OURS!!!!

Thank you Jesus!!!

We found out late yesterday that we had success in court and Wee Baby Boy is officially a member of our family! Words can not even express how blessed we feel! We have 8 children!!! What a BLESSING!!!

DD and I will be leaving in 16 days to go and get our baby and bring him home!!!

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him Psalm 34:8

Thank you all for the prayers, love, and support!!!!
And a big thank you to Blaine who took this picture of our baby while she was picking up the very lovely Grace!!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Baby Wearing ~

Last week I received my new sling! It's a Maya Wrap adjustable pouch. I bought it from Amy at BirthBlessed.com and she was awesome!

I am so excited about our newest sling. I plan on taking it to Ethiopia and it will be perfect if my dd should need to carry the baby too.

I discovered slings shortly after I had our third baby. I went to a Pampered Chef Party and there was a Mom of many there who had her little babe in one. She held him, nursed, and put the little one to sleep and in her sling all the while socializing with the rest of us. I was in awe and by the end of the evening I was sold.

I went out and bought a NoJo sling. While I loved the sling the padding was bulky and I found it hard to adjust. I literally wore that sling out and by the time I had our 5th baby I needed a new sling and once again purchased a NoJo.

While in the adoption process I leanred that the baby carrying business was booming and looked at all the options out there. The pouch is what suits me best. I don't care for the extra padding and fabric of a "Ring Sling".

I have a beautiful toile HotSlings sling that I used on our trip to pick up our boys. Our 1 yo spent the whole weekend in it and many an hour since coming home. He loves the sling and I have found it to be the best attachment tool. I quickly found that wearing him often made him feel secure and kept him calm. It filled his love tank so to speak. I can't recommend wearing your baby enough to parents especially adoptive parents!

The girls and I made little dolly slings for them..






And look who else likes to wear his baby!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

MIA!!




I have been Missing In Action! I have been Mama to 11 (ages eleven and under) this weekend! Our dear (and very spontaneous) friends decided to go away for thier 15 year anniversary and they left their 4 precious children (and a big yellow labrador) with us. We snapped this picture on the way to Church. Aren't they all precious?

We had a great time! Busy, busy, busy but fun, fun, fun! The highlight for me was when dh and I took them all out for pizza and to the grocery store. The reaction of people was priceless. I giggled the whole time.

I think the highlight for the kiddies was the ice cream cake we made (it was a recipe on the Duggar special) .
They are a great group of kiddies. We were blessed to have 11 under our roof. Lots of laughter, lovin' and eatin'. Children truly are a blessing from the Lord! Hmmm.. perhaps 8 won't be enough ;o)

Hopefully we'll have good news from Court this week!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Proverbs 22:6



"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."

That is the Scripture our Pastor always begins our baby dedications with. This past Sunday we had the blessing of dedicating our 2 sons from Ethiopia to the Lord.

It was a wonderful time. Our church has embraced and loved our boys in such a special way. To have 2000 members of our church family praying for us, our children, and our wee baby boy was incredibly touching. We are thankful to God for giving us this sepcial time. We are so thankful for our boys and we pray that the way we raise His children is pleasing to Him. May they know Jesus and love Him and serve Him all the days of their lives.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Play

I recently received in the mail two back issues of my FAVORITE magazine Above Rubies (AboveRubies.org)

In it was a little poem that really hit home...

Did Johnny Guess?
"I love you Johnny," said mother one day.
"I love you more than I can say."
Then she answered his questions with,
"Don't bother me now,"
And just didn't have time to show him how
To tie his truck to his tractor and plow.
But she washed her windows and scrubbed the floor
And baked and cooked and cleaned some more.

"Bring the boy next door in? Well I should say not!
You'll mess up the floors and I don't want a spot!"
"No, we don't have time for story today,
Mother's too busy cooking, so run out and play.
Maybe tomorrow," she said with a sigh.
And Johnny went out almost ready to cry.

"I love you Johnny," again she said,
As she washed his face and sent him to bed.
Now how do you think that Johnny guessed
Whether 'twas he or the house she really loved best?

Unknown Author

On Saturday we had a visit from my Mom and her "Manfriend" (O.k> boyfriend but after a certain age shouldn't it be manfriend?") Mr. Frank.

A visit from Mimi (My Mom) is always very exciting around here. Mimi knows how to and loves to play. She has always been an inspiration to me. She has the heart of a child and children love her for it. She is the first to suggest a game of ball, or ice cream for dinner. She will sleep on the top bunk and beg with the littles for just ONE more Andy Griffith before bed.

We had a wonderful time Saturday..out to lunch for pizza, then home for a serious game of baseball, birthday gifts for those who had birthdays



since our last visit with Mimi.. Then there was swinging, jumping, laser tag and finally cake and ice cream.

I want to be like my young and beautiful Mama when I don't grow up..


Hangin' out in the fort!



Cute L'il Jumper!



Mimi dancing with the littles to the Wiggles (Notice Mr. Frank dancing the dog in the background..)



Me comforting dh after he loses in laser tag...

Thank YOU!

Thank you all for your prayers and your kind words. We haven't had any updates but will let everyone know as soon as we do.

It is at times like these that I am especially thankful to be part of the Family of God. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have lifted us and our sweet little baby up.. this morning I didn't think I would ever stop crying but the Holy Spirt stilled my heart and stopped my tears and I know it is due the the faithfulness of your prayers.

We don't know what tomorrow holds but thankfully we know WHO holds tomorrow.

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, strengthen, settle you."
1Peter 5:10

Monday, April 03, 2006

Prayer Needed

We didn't have court.. I can't go into details but please pray God's will be done..

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth