Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One month (paper) pregnant!!!

So I'm a few days late, but since that also has been a trend 3 times in the past ..... why change a trend on month #1 of child #4??

We have been DTE ONE MONTH!!!

explanation: all paperwork has been in the waiting line for our little girl, or 'Dossier To Ethiopia' for one month. One month down and hopefully only 5-8 more to go before we see her sweet face on our computer screen!

At 1 month DTE (as of August 27th), we were #23 in line for a baby girl. We fell down a spot since someone announced their date as prior to ours that we didn't know about. There really hasn't been much movement this past month. BUT, the courts in Ethiopia have been closed for 2 months due to the inability for witnesses/families to travel due to the rainy season and flooded roads. BUT, courts have officially re-opened as of yesterday! So hoping the ball gets rolling on those new referrals soon and we start movin' on up that list of waiting parents!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we did as all pregnant families do -- we stocked up on ice cream (hold the pickles). I had read this suggestion on another blog as a way to celebrate DTE Birthdays and might I say, it felt like a stroke of genius to me. Every month they shared a container of a different flavor of Ben & Jerry's. Who am I to turn down an opportunity to eat outrageously over-priced ice cream? And let me tell ya, 5 people in one family = one itty bitty cup of Ben & Jerry's when shared..

So the flavor of 1 month DTE, chosen by the chilluns, was officially
Milk and Cookies

Which was o.k., but I'm hoping future month selections will trump. A little caramel just makes everything a little more happy. Also hoping that the months of ice cream sharing are few, cause I really would like to still fit in my pre-paper-pregnancy jeans when this is all over and done..

Thursday, September 16, 2010

But I prayed to Jesus..

Oh mama has it started. The drama. The whining. The princess performance.

My angelic 4 year old has now turned into a 30 something pound 16 year old. Whippee.

So now cue the pickiness that seems to go along with royalty; add one mama who's job it is to 'fix' said finickiness at the dinner table; and you get something very akin to World War II.

So while I love to cook meals that are at least somewhat healthy, my daughter has now decided that she would much rather just go to McDonald's thank-you-very-much. And here comes the part where my long time rule of "you eat what I cook or you just choose not to eat" vs. "I am the tiny princess of this home and you will cater to me" come into conflict.

Now mind you, I am a professional. Trained to deal with food issues, sensory issues, behavioral feeding problems. But trained to stand-off with a 4 year old who has decided she doesn't like anything with hints of tomatoes, speckles of green herbs, or slivers of onions - this has been testing my skills.

After a few meals of her picking around her food and just complaining, she has now moved on up to the heavy-weight round with the induced gagging. Usually with a bite of food in her mouth (that Tony has made her try). And she sits beside me. Cue mother induced gagging.

And I am now at the point of my story - our prayers. Heaven help us.

The other night I had made a homemade lasagna. And not the mommy-love kind with spinach but the daddy-love kind with sausage sauce and meat. Not my favorite but sometimes a girl just feels like being generous. Anyway, first, princess laments the minuscule onion she finds, then the specks of green basil, and then pretty much just rejects the whole lot and can't even find redemption in a plain ole noodle.

The king of the house orders said princess to make a choice, "eat your dinner or go to bed". And then goes to the ballpark. Thanks. Hand down a sentence then leave it up to me to do your dirty work. So after 30 minutes of sitting at the cleared table with only her plate of untried lasagna in front of her, I am working at the computer with my back to her refusing to listen to the whining about how awful it is. "Not listening to you... nah, nah, nah, nah."

Until - she starts gagging. To which I tell her I KNOW it isn't that bad. Nothing is in it to make her sick and she needs to quit. She then tells me, in the midst of tears running down her face, with complete sincerity...

"but I pwayed to Jesus like Bwaeden did that I wouldn't get sick.... but it didnnnnnn't woooook"

Explanation - Braeden had prayed to Jesus that his upset tummy would feel better in the morning. However, Jesus doesn't seem to respond as well to little girls gagging on lasagna. Lesson learned. Maybe he likes Italian??

And the moral of this story is, if you sit in front of a plate of uneaten lasagna for one hour, you are then sent to your room to p.j.'s and a warm cozy bed. And a big breakfast.The princess. It is her world, we are just allowed to live in it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Destined for Greatness

My middle son must be destined for greatness. He will be a missionary. A pastor. The chairman of a major children's charity. Something.

Because he has had a fish hook in his eye, which #1 didn't hit his eyeball, and #2 fell out miraculously after a prayer for Jesus to help.


Because he fell from the monkey bars, passed out, went blue, was unresponsive. We were sure he had broken his neck. 30 minutes later he was running around the emergency room unscathed.


Has had his pointer finger swell up to about three times it's size. It was MRSA infected. And it didn't fall off, as it looked like it would.

and now

Because he fell in a yellow jackets nest this past weekend. Stepped right in this hole. And didn't get stung a single time.

God has His eye on him. Destined for greatness I tell you. And as long as that doesn't involve community organizing or elections - I will be very thrilled about that....

(this picture cracks me up every time I look at it. This is a photo this poor Asian couple took during their visit at Biltmore. Little man thought that he should be remembered for posterity's sake obviously. I just happen to quickly get a shot of his posing for them too. Little cheeser.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My other son's mother

I attempted to write a well written, insightful post - but instead deleted it as I want to get right to the point and have you go back and read this post .

We arrived home from a great Labor Day weekend to the following letter from my little boy Amanuel in Ethiopia. "My mother is sick so she can not fulfill any job. My sister and I go to our grandparent. Please pray for my mother to be healthy and then she can grow me and my sister."

This news would not be so upsetting except that Amanuel's father passed away 5 years ago. Widows in Ethiopia often struggle to provide for their children, but through our sponsorship and the help of Compassion, his mother had been able to start a business to provide for her children. So for her not to be able to take care of her children, much less work, worries me greatly. I do not know what his father died of. I just know that I love this child, I loved his mother, and as of two years ago when we met, she was not a Christian.

I pray things have changed. I pray that my little boy will not be one of the millions of orphans in Ethiopia every year due to AIDS. I pray that his mother will recover from whatever illness she has so that the Compassion church project will have more time to minister to her both emotionally and spiritually.

Again, these children are not just faces on a packet. They have names, they have needs, and they have the love of God above - who has asked us to love them too. Sometimes it is easy to live our happy and privileged life in America and chalk the pain, hunger, and sickness of the third world up to just a sad story we occasionally hear about on the news. And sometimes that pain smacks us in the face and wakes us up to the real world. Would you please pray for Amanuel's mother with me?

And more importantly, is God calling you to reach out to a real child, in a real relationship, and be the hands of Christ to them? There are so many children like Amanuel who are more than just statistics. To be a missionary does not require you moving to another continent. Will you?