Thursday, December 9, 2010

Now Faith...

Every week in Ethan's Pre-K curriculum that we are doing at home this year he has a memory verse.  He works pretty hard at them and has done really well.  One of the first few verses was Hebrews 11:1:

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Kind of a tough verse for a 4 year old, but he did pretty well memorizing that one.  He still remembers it, but Caden is the one that has latched onto this verse for some reason.  He only recites the first two words.

"Now faith."

Every morning when we go over Ethan's verse for the week, Caden runs up saying he knows his verse.  He then tells me his verse.

"Now faith."

The same verse everyday for about 3 months now.  He has also asked me what faith means.  I have told him that faith means trusting God.  Some of you might have a better operational definition of faith that can be understood by a two year old, but that is what I came up with on the spot, and he seems to get that.

I have thought that it was strange that he has hung onto this particular verse, and even just these two words for so long given how many other verses we have gone over.  There have been much simpler verses that certainly seem easier for a small child to understand, but this is the one that he keeps spouting off.

"Now faith."

I don't think it is an accident though.

I think God has given me a constant reminder in the form of my sweet 2 year old chasing me around all day telling me he knows his verse.  I need to be reminded that God has all of this under control.  Even my son knows that we are supposed to be trusting God.

We know how clear God has been in leading us in the adoption process.  He has given us so many confirmations along the way.  Yet I am very quick to forget all of it and completely stress out about how we are going to get it all done.  The paperwork is overwhelming.  The financial side is scary.  And when I have 3 kids under the age of 5 running through my house screaming and ripping the place apart I wonder if God picked the wrong mommy for this job.

I need to be reminded that I don't need to know all of the answers.  I will never know all of the answers, but God does.  I am not able to handle all of this on my own, but God certainly can.  God can handle all of the details, big and small.  My only job is to trust God.  Have faith in Him and His ability to accomplish everything that He has planned.  Now.  I am thankful that God knows exactly what I need to hear, when I need to hear it, and how to make sure I hear it over and over and over again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Making Progress

We are making progress!!!  We still have a lot of work to do, but the week of Thanksgiving we sent in ALL of our agency paperwork.  We got an email last week saying they had received everything and requested our home study and that we should get a call from the social worker within 30 days to schedule the home study appointment.  I figured it would probably be a couple of weeks before we heard from them and that the appointment wouldn't actually take place until January or February, but we got a phone call the very next morning!!!  Our home study is scheduled for December 30!!!!  I just didn't think they would fit us in so quickly with Christmas and New Year's and everything coming up.  We are really excited to say the least.
We also sent off our fingerprints for our FBI clearances last week.  We still have quite a bit of work to do on our dossier before we are completely done with paperwork, but it is definitely nice to make some major progress.
Here are some pics we took of the boys with the FedEx pack as we sent it off to our agency.
Ethan is super excited.  Every time I mention to him that we are doing something that has something to do with the adoption, he asks if we are going to get the babies now.  :)  He thinks it is about time we go pick them up.  And yes, that's right, he only says "babies."  He even corrects me if I say baby and says "No Mommy, baby means there is only one.  There is more than one."  We will see if he is right.  (One time he told me we were getting 10, because we needed 5 more boys and 5 more girls.  I had to assure him that this time there would be no more than 2!)  That kid cracks me up.
Caden is still not entirely certain why we are so excited about this envelope.  We talk a lot about the baby, but he doesn't completely get it.  I think he will catch on when we get our referral and have an actual face to go with all of this talk.  He was happy to smile for a picture for mommy though.  :)
I couldn't leave you without a picture of Abbie and her newest trick.  She is not walking quite yet, but she is standing really well.  Isn't she cute?  I think so. :)  I can't believe that she is already 11 months old! This is going by entirely too fast.  She needs to slow down on all this growing up.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paperwork, Paperwork, and More Paperwork

I bet you can't guess what has been filling up my time lately....
Ok, so maybe you can.  I am drowning under a mountain of paperwork.  I am the type that really likes to check things off my to do list, but this to do list seems to go on forever.  It also seems like every item I am waiting to check off is lacking one piece of information to prevent me finishing nothing is getting checked off!!!  I may loose my mind.
I emailed my sweet friend Jackie yesterday.  She brought her baby boy home from Ethiopia earlier this year, so she has seen the light at the end of the tunnel.  She made me feel much better.  Thank you Jackie. :)
I also just finished typing up a letter that I will have to get notarized that says I make no money for staying at home with my kids.  It makes me laugh that that needs to be a notary whose commission doesn't expire until 2012.  Just in case.  In case of what I have no idea...but just in case.  :-P

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Big Announcement....

I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no, I am not pregnant.  :)

BUT....our family is growing.

We are thrilled beyond words to announce that we are adopting!

In approximately 18 months (give or take based on paperwork, government agencies, and everything in between) we will be bringing home a baby (or two) under a year from Ethiopia.

Did you know that there are approximately 147 million orphans in the world?
Did you know that every day 26,000 children die of starvation and preventable diseases?
Did you know that God calls us (all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus) to take care of these kids?
That can take on different forms.  Some may support orphan care ministries; some may take mission trips; some give through church and other missions organization, and some bring a few of these kids home to make them a part of their families.  This is where we feel God's leading.  We have enough room in our home and enough food on our table.  We have enough love in our family.  We love our kids more than anything on earth, and we cannot imagine one of them growing up without the love of a family.  We cannot imagine not giving a child a family when it is in our ability to do so.  We cannot provide a home for 147 million, but we can for some.

So that is what we are doing.  We are about a month into the process.  For those of you unfamiliar with international adoption, we will spend the next few months on paperwork, physicals, background checks, a home study, etc. to get our approval through our agency here in the US.  During that time we will also begin preparing our dossier (a giant stack of papers that contains every bit of information anyone would ever want to know about us, notarized, and stamped by the US government) to send to Ethiopia.  Once it gets to Ethiopia, it will be translated and we will be put on a waitlist.  The current time on the waitlist is approximately 8 months.  This could take longer or it could go faster.  After that we will get our referral (get matched with our baby/babies).  We will get pictures and all the available information on our kiddo. Once we accept our referral, we will be assigned a court date and will fly to Ethiopia for court.  We will get to meet them during that trip, but we will not be able to bring them home yet.  After we pass court, we will then come back home for 3-6 weeks while we wait for our US Embassy appointment.  We will then fly back to Ethiopia to pick he/she/them up, go to our Embassy appt, and then bring them home!
I am trying not to think to much about having to leave them in Ethiopia after the first trip.  That is going to be rough.  I am also not trying to think too much about having to leave my other 3 here while we fly halfway around the world (although they will probably have so much fun with Grandma that they won't notice we're gone!)

I am trying to think of any other questions I may need to answer...
-We do have the opportunity to request a specific gender, but we are not going to.  We figure that we don't get to choose when we get pregnant, so we won't choose this time.
-We have said that we will accept one baby or twins.  Our agency does not place unrelated children, only siblings, and because of the ages of our kids, we can only request a child under 12 months, so siblings would then have to be twins.
-We have told both our families, and everyone is excited and supportive (a major blessing!)
-Our kids are super excited!  Well, at least Ethan is.  Caden and Abbie don't really know what is going on yet, but they will catch on. :)  Ethan keeps asking me when we are going to get those babies.  He does not understand why this is taking so long.  Oh, and Ethan is convinced that there is more that one baby, so we will see if he is right. :)

So, that is our news.  If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.  :)

Poor neglected blog...

Ok, I am quite aware that I am the world's lousiest blogger. But I am going to get better.

There is big news coming... I mean HUGE!  (At least huge for us, you may not think it is all that big...we will see.)

I will be making updates more frequently for your reading enjoyment. For now, I will leave you with a few picture of my now gigantic children (in comparison to the pictures that are currently on this blog.)

(These pictures are from Abbie's Dedication.)

Ethan and Caden (I know, not the best picture, but it is impossible to get both of them standing still at the same time!)

The whole family (plus my Dad)  I don't have a single one of the 5 of us with everyone looking the same direction and no one in mid sneeze.  This is the best you get.

Don't worry... I won't leave you up in the air for long with regards to what our news is.  I will start working on the post.  Check back soon!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, I was just looking over my blog and realized that I have had it for about a year now, and I have succeeded in making 10 posts. Hmmmm... maybe it has been a busy year. In 2009, Jonathan changed jobs, we moved to a new state (we never thought we would leave Texas), we spent most of the year patiently waiting on a baby girl (who will be here Monday if not sooner), along with a billion smaller changes that go along with all of the above. No wonder I have not sat at the computer and journaled my thoughts for all of you to read! I will definitely try to do better once Abbie comes so that you can watch her grow (along with the boys of course!) I just have a feeling that 2010 is not going to feel much calmer than 2009. Just in the first three weeks we are planning to have a baby and make a trip back to Texas to close on our house! Anyway, I will also try to sit down and really figure out this blogger site so I have an easier time posting pictures and don't dread trying to blog as much. :-P So, to all 2 of you (I am guessing) that will read this, HAPPY NEW YEAR!