Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hopefully our last


Hopefully our last DTE-versary ice cream party!

We are now 8 whole months into this paper pregnancy.

20 months from inception to now - the longest gestation period EVER.

And at 8 months DTE, we are now #4 for a baby girl. AND, we finally made the Top 10 list at #10 overall! (ahead of us are the 3 wanting baby girls, 3 requesting siblings, and 3 requesting boys).

So this month, sans Tony - we chowed down on

Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Not much compares to chocolate ice cream with brownie goodness mixed in. And may I say - while I have enjoyed this 8 month relationship with Ben & Jerry's - I would really, really, like to not have to pick another flavor next month. I am completely comfortable with breaking up with the guys and our monthly dates. Completely.

Although...... what better way to celebrate a referral picture than with another ice cream party!! Hoping to post THAT entry very soon!

**and is it just me or have my children aged dramatically in the last 8 months?? I put all the photos together on my new 'paper pregnancy' page and I think Addison grew from toddler to Kindergartner during that time! Must be the ice cream.....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Teddy

We gave a Teddy a baby and it made us smile.
And giving that Baby Teddy a baby made Teddy's mommy smile.

(Couldn't resist - that sentence was just begging me to be written.)

For those who know me - you'll know how passionate I am for Compassion International and the unbelievable, life-changing work that they do with children all over the world.

You'd also know how much I love my own Compassion children and cherish the relationships that are developing between them and my own children.

But about 6 months ago, someone suggested for me to be friends with a lady named Christie on Facebook. Christie was dropping everything and moving to Uganda. To live in a little village plagued by witchcraft. Her story intrigued me, so I jumped on board and started following her on Facebook and through her blog: Compass in my Heart

Since then - Christie, her new husband, and her friends from all over the US, have helped to bring a school to that little village. And then, through a yearly contribution, sponsorships to bring little children into that school where they can be educated, and learn about a Jesus who loves them. Where they are receiving basic de-worming and malaria medicine, and shoes/clothing.

And then a bad drought hit, the worst in many years. Where the little water they could dip out of a shallow puddle/creek was too dirty to try to drink and was making all the children sick.

And then, through donations and some very kind souls, a borehole was drilled and the village now has unending, clean water. Doesn't it remind you of the story of Jesus at the well and His water that never runs dry??

So back to Teddy. While I love Compassion, I felt like God had called Christie to help this village. And I had watched as He had provided for their needs - so shouldn't I also dig a little deeper and embrace this chance again to love one of the least of these??

So we picked Teddy. A four year old little girl with 2 big brothers and a big sister. Each of the other kids have their own sponsored child through Compassion so I picked Teddy in honor of Olivia. We pray for them all every night and love watching them grow older and grow in their love for Christ.

We had the most fun putting a care package together to send to her with our family photos, her photo, some candy, cups, toothbrushes, coloring book, etc. And we shipped it all the way to Uganda.

Addison went and chose a small doll of hers that she wanted to give to Teddy - a little fairy cabbage patch kid.

This one:

And she wanted to give her the little bag she had just made in Bible School. So we modified it from 'Addison' to "Addison loves Teddy". Like this:

Addison filled it with about 10 drawings and coloring pages! And we included her photo, as most have never seen a photo of themselves. Her mother loved it!

So Teddy was able to 'meet' our family from afar. As were her family and friends:
So my point - the opportunities are everywhere. Little ways and places for you to send Christ's love. And while we didn't get a smile (this time) out of our shy little Teddy - I hope that she knows that someone all the way across the ocean loves her. And I hope that she learns more about Jesus in the school she can now go to. And I love that Teddy can now drink from clean water vs. the bacteria invested water she was drinking before Christie came to live with them. And I hope that my 3 children will continue to learn that the biggest smiles sometimes come from those that give, no matter how little, as just a little love can make the biggest differences.

You can make a difference by:
supporting Christie through donating or purchasing Ugandan beads, sandals, or sling purses.
or support a child through Compassion International

Leave a comment if you have a great organization that you love to make a difference with ---

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going running, or not

Just looking back, realizing how sporadic my posts have become. Pretty much dwindled to every month on our DTE-varsarry. Which I'm sure is just highly entertaining and a sure way to keep others reading. (Go ahead, admit it, you're waiting each month with baited breath just to see what brand of ice cream we choose.)

Truth is - when we signed on for adoption. And said "yes Lord, we will go" - we kind of were expecting an 18 month commitment followed by an 18 year bigger commitment.

And now we are at TWENTY months, and still are only rounding the corner with a faaaaaaaar, far away view of the finish line. And let me tell ya, I am not one for distance running. Give me a sprint any day and I'll push through. But running?? I walked my way through cross country season in high school. Seriously. Embarrassing I know.

So instead of rejoicing at our #4 status, or smiling as I view her changing table, which has set waiting for her in my room for 6 months now. Or the crib which is still up in Addi's room --- I have been falling on my face and crying in my own little pity party. Again, embarrassing I know.

I want to be ecstatic when others are going on court trips to see their babies for the first time, I want to be jumping up and down when they go for embassy to pick up their children. But my sinful self is sitting in a corner pouting - saying "it's not fair." (Honestly --- I scroll over their blogs to see the date they signed their application letter to start their adoption, and pout even more when their dates are much later than mine.) I want to grieve with them when they are missing their children so badly - a hurt that I can not even image - having to leave your little, fragile new baby for months on end and not knowing when you can return, all at the mercy of a foreign court system. But I also want to yell and scream that I haven't even SEEN my baby yet. And she is no less mine and I am no less in pain of knowing we are still separated. 24 months after I became her mother in heart.

Embarrassing, I know. What a strong, stable Christian I am? I despise myself sometimes.

But ya know, I still know that none of this surprised God at all. None of this was not His plan. And for us to be still, wandering around in the Israelite desert, it must be because I still need to be taught something. Something like patience maybe?? Something which obviously I have yet to learn?? So I wander still.

God chooses the weakest to display his glory. That theme is all through the scriptures. And oh boy, can I be weak.

Am I posting this to make you feel sorry for me? NO.

I am posting it to let you see that I/we are not super Christians. We are not rocks of faith or of strength. But HE is. And every week, I have seen orphans placed in families. And that is nothing short of miraculous. And beautiful.

It doesn't take a super Christian to join the race. Or even a strong Christian. It doesn't take a wise and seasoned parent to mother a child who needs you. It just takes you. And even though the race is hard. And long. And tiring. And draining. Somehow, we haven't collapsed yet. And even though that finish line is waaaaaaay out there and I may want to stop and just run for a cheeseburger instead - my heavenly Daddy is running beside me, edging me on, letting me know that HE believes in me and knows I can do it. And we will..... and the reward will be so much more than we can imagine.

You too scared of running?