Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Fall 'Yall

Addison didn't want to hold MY hand. But then decided in the dark, running to a house and then yelling "mommmmmmy" to quickly find my warm fingers was pretty comforting.
Looks pretty good for a kid who had run a 102-104 temp all week. With very little food in 7 days (no flu thank goodness), he still had a good time tonight. Even with no energy.
This one ALWAYS has a good time. Wherever he goes. And especially if sugar is involved.
My baby is looking so big.
And a little bit more and more like her mommy. 'Bout time!!!
Happy Fall to All!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An apology - sort of

I feel like all I have been doing is asking for donations. Wanna sponsor a child? Wanna buy a raffle ticket? Check out our 'ChipIn' donation? Buy some personalized art?? Donate through PayPal? and now.....

wanna buy some coffee?

I'm hoping I can get 'ya on one front or another! Just Love Coffee is an internet store that just opened this week. The concept designed and brought about by an adoptive father of two beautiful Ethiopian girls. For every bag of coffee, or every T-Shirt, you purchase from our 'store', we are mailed a check to be deposited into our adoption fund. And if you have never tried Ethiopian coffee, you truly don't know what you are missing! I liked coffee before, I LOVE Ethiopian coffee now. Just click on the logo to be taken to our storefront. And I know it's a little more expensive than Starbucks bags, but it is also a charity. With proceeds going to both us and the orphanage where his girls were taken care of. So please pass along the website to any other java-addicts you may know.

And now to the apology:

A foreword - Adoption is expensive. And what you may not know is that the Ethiopian government frowns on all fund-raising. So once we get hot and heavy into this process, like around the time we submit our dossier (with a check for $7700) - I will have to pull all mentions of donations and fund-raising from my public blog. So I'm just trying to get the word out now that we need help, while I still can.

And the apology - I'm sorry I have to ask for help, but I'm not sorry I am asking. Does that make sense at all? I'm asking for help because I know the joy that we get from helping. True joy that lasts, unlike the joy felt after buying a new purse. Or the lingering good feelings from a movie we took our kids to, that is forgotten after a week when they are asking to go to the next blockbuster. True joy comes from the Lord:

** I know how awesome it feels to have a little 9 year old boy in Colombia tell me, through our help, he may grow up to be a preacher. A little boy in an area of child militia and drug wars.

** I know how awesome it feels to have a little 9 year old girl in India write to me simple words like "elephant. tiger. cat. monkey." A little girl who 2 years ago didn't know her alphabet. In a country that doesn't value women or an education. She's also growing her hair out to wear the ribbons we have mailed her.

** I know how awesome it feels to know a widow in Ethiopian has her own store and can support her two children through our help. A widow who is being exposed to Christ in an area where only 10% are Christians.

** I know how awesome it feels to see my own children praying for and loving these children on the other side of the world.

** I know how unbelievably sad it is to think of the infants, the little babies, left to die in gutters or at the doors of the orphanages by neighbors or distant relatives. Babies 5 months old that weigh as much as an American newborn.

**And I can only imagine how awesome it will feel to bring back a beautiful little girl with shining dark eyes from a land of poverty and pain. And hold her up for you to see. And tell you thank you for helping to bring her into our family. And to know that only through God, are we able to do this wonderful work.

I just told Tony last night. I get so uncomfortable hearing others tell us, "it takes a very special person to do what you are doing." No - it takes a sinful, normal person. But a person who selfishly wants to see where God leads us. Who selfishly wants to snuggle up to round chubby cheeks and feel the joy of being a new mom again. Who selfishly is excited to see how much joy we can soak up in the coming years from little Olivia. So, I'm sorry I'm so selfish. Don't ya want to get in on it???

  • Be selfish enough to get tons of joy from saving the life of a child with Compassion...
  • Be selfish enough to drink tons of unbelievable coffee from JustLove...
  • Be selfish enough to order a great Christmas or baby shower gift with no shopping involved...
  • Be selfish enough to donate towards paying the Ethiopian country fees for the care of Baby Olivia and hopefully, in about a year, know you helped to bring a healthy smile to her and her mommy's faces!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Fair Splurge

It's funny - in the 5 years that we have lived here, my poor children have been the "onnnnnly kids who aren't going to the faaaaaaaaair". Only - I'm sure. Partly because their mommy is so cheap, and partly because their daddy is a tad bit obsessive compulsive about cleanliness and can't stand the thought of our children holding fast to handlebars which have been touched by at least a million and two children before them, all actively wiping their noses with their palms. All in the midst of cold and flu season . I just try not to think about it. ( I am definitely a 5 second mom, "go ahead and eat your sucker sweetie, you only got a couple bits of dirt on it when you dropped it. Just flick 'em off.")

So this year, as one of our best friends unfortunately hurt her back - we inherited her family's tickets to not only the fair but also the Toby Mac concert. Sweeeeeet.

And may I say, we......had.......a.......blast!! We, as in me and the kids. Tony was still a little put off by the entire fair atmosphere. I think it's a childhood phobia or something.

The kids helped pay for their ride-every-available-ride 16 times bracelets with money their Nana and Papaw had given them and we commenced to see how many rides we could conquer. They had so much fun. And were soooooo sweet with little Addison. Taking her along by the hand, helping her to get in the rides, making sure they were seated together vs. with strangers. They cracked me up. I am really still baffled how all 3 made it home without swallowing some sort of insect with all the screaming, shrieking, and smiling going on at, at least, oh, 1.5 miles an hour. Unfortunately, (but probably fortunately), I was the one to go head to head with an insect as I laid my arm down on the stroller handle and squashed a yellow jacket. Poor little thing never saw me coming. I thought bees were all dead by this time of year!

Toby Mac was awesome - and Addison had so much fun waving her hands in the air and yelling "woopsa-daisy, woopsa-daisy" along in beat with the crowd.

However, after about 20 minutes of holding a gyrating toddler up in the air with a swelled and throbbing arm, I was ready to go. So Tony and I switched off with him going to take a tired and cranky Addison home and me staying behind to make sure the boys got their $23 dollars worth of rides out. ($23, seriously?? Does it cost that much to hire your workers at minimum wage?) I have to say though, watching their expressions when they got off the "Spaceship 4000" (reminder: spinning spaceship where gravity staples you to the side until the floor floats out from under you) = Priceless. Totally worth the 365 dollars we probably spent on funnel cake and caramel apples. Cause mommy couldn't splurge on tickets that weren't free, but funnel cake - now that's a completely justifiable expense!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Words Needed

I'm pretty much brain-dead at the moment in regards to my writing skills so thought I would let other people speak for me:

First - my little buddy in Colombia, Hector. We have been sponsoring Hector through Compassion International since he was 4 years old. Toooo cute. We received this letter (in his own handwriting) today:

"I wish that peace and love of God be always with you and your family! I am so glad to be writing you again! In the school I've been learning English and I have already know how to say some words. Do you speak Spanish? Which words do you know? Do you like my country? In the project I am learning about Jesus and the Bible stories. I memorized the Psalm 100:3 and Proverbs 14:30. Have you ever read them? My tutor says that I am going to become a preacher of the gospel and that I am going to teach the Bible very well! Do you like to teach? Please pray for my family! Hugs and Kisses to you! I drew something for you with all my love. I hope that you like it! I love you so much! Blessings! Love, Hector"

No words needed but : Compassion works. Compassion changes lives. What are YOU waiting for? Sponsor now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting (and Celebrating)

Qoyta = "waiting" in Amharic (the language of Ethiopia). A beautiful friend of mine sent me the gorgeous necklace above with that word on the front and Matthew 18:5 "whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me" on the back. She wrote that since women who are expecting a child through adoption do not have any physical signs they are expecting - by wearing this pendant, a waiting mother can share her great news - that her family is about to grow through adoption.

What a perfect day to open up her little package in the mail - cause today I am (as in the words of the bank teller) a "a little bubbly". I came home today at lunch to find not only my necklace package, but also a typed manila envelope with our address. On the inside was a white envelope with the words, "God bless you and your family". Inside was a bank cashier's check for $1500!!!!! With anonymous written in the subject line. THANK YOU MR. OR MRS. ANONYMOUS!!! So today, I AM a little bubbly. At my next visit, I told them I wouldn't be worth anything as I felt like I had just taken a pregnancy test and gotten two lines!

We ALSO had a phone call from a close friend who told us he had just won $500 in an office football pool and felt immediately God telling him to give it for Olivia's adoption!

Just to sum up the pure precision of God's plan - here are the amounts needed in the order and amounts.

1) Home study - $1000, given first by my family
2) Apply with America World - $1500, given today anonymously
3) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - $830, in our chip in account right now, $800
4) To finish home study and receive report - $500, given this evening

Who in this world can say our God is not real? That those who believe in Him are believing in a fairy tale? That the prayers of his children go unanswered?

Thank you all so much for not only your donations, but first and foremost, your prayers. I know we will be on this see-saw for the better part of the next two years, but just having everyone pushing us on and encouraging us means so much.

SO - application to AWAA goes out this week and we should be assigned our personal case worker and get started on our dossier as quickly as possible.

In the meantime - I'm expecting, or waiting, or paper pregnant - for real this time!!!! My joy is just bubbling over!

(And the shoes in the pic - those are my absolute favorite brand Addison had when she was little. So soft and cute, but I sold most of Addison's pairs and only saved a few. I found this pair a couple weeks back at a consignment sale and couldn't help but to get them. So they are sitting, and waiting, on my dresser for me to look at and smile at everyday. Yeah, they may be pretty dusty by the time Olivia gets here!!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Playing on our see-saw

We had our first call to show the house - UUPPPPPP!!!
Freak out and run around like mad woman and children throwing every stray item into Daddy's car trunk - DOOOOOOWN!!
Come back an hour later and they are still here - UUUUUPPP!!
Get the offer the next morning, $16,000 less than asking AND want us to pay $5200 in closing costs (did my house make you high???) - DOOOOOOWWWWWN!!

Finish all paperwork and write check to mail in for home study to start - UUPPPP!!!
Look at our poor, pathetic pickle jar and the stray raffle tickets in the bottom - DOOOWWWN!!
Get two, too-generous donations from friends this morning and a letter I will be putting in our scrapbook for Olivia - UUUUUPP!!

So right now I'm up. Yeah! Thank you so much to you, my old friend, that wrote my letter - as it came on a rainy migraine morning when I needed it so much. To those of you who continually are encouraging us in this journey and pressing us on - your support has been invaluable.

SO - we have now just sent off the $1000 for the home study to begin. We have done one required internet training on cultural diversity, and have one more to start (8-10 hours long, so we're (Tony's) procrastinating on that one). I'm going to start posting our dates and amounts spent in the side bar just because I have really been encouraged and informed on other adoption blogs by such lists. It really does show why your support (both financially AND personally) is so invaluable when you see all that is involved in trying to heed God's call to bring home a new family member.

And after this morning - we are at $915 towards the $1500 needed to start the dossier process by officially signing our application with America World. That's only $585 to step one more step up the ladder!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! And keep spreading the word, anybody need a raffle ticket???????????

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Framed Print for Raffle

I picked it up yesterday - it is so nicely framed! And would make a great Christmas gift for someone. And just FYI, my family donated $1000 to our adoption efforts and didn't request their 250 chances at the art - so you'd still have a good chance of winning it! Thank you to all who have donated so far! We are starting the homestudy process this week! Second step forward and a long way to go.