Monday, July 28, 2008
I have purchased one beautiful white linen dress for Baby M. She will wear it home from Ethiopia as a garment of PRAISE. I bought this dress on faith with a prayer that God would allow her to wear it before she grows out of it. It is displayed on her dresser as a reminder to us that God will complete this good work that he started. These verses from Isaiah 61:1-3 speak of the mission that God has sent us on with this adoption. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." It is our hope that through this adoption our girls would be eternally safe and comforted and their lives would speak of the righteousness and splendor of our Lord.
(The little ceramic plaque also resides on her dresser and says, "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you".)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
So now it is three days later and you want to know how it all came out right? Well, Natalie is swollen. but is fine and recovering. Baby M was not as sick as we had originally thought. There had been a miscommunication. One of our AWAA families was able to confirm this since she was in Ethiopia last week picking up her daughter. She e-mailed me dozens of beautiful photos of Baby M as proof that she is, "healthy as a horse!" My mother fell, not due to her neck injury, but because we found out she was actually allergic to the pain medication and it was causing weakness and confusion. She ended up with pneumonia due to her shallow breathing, but she is now back home reunited with my dad right down the street where she belongs. My cat was actually sleeping under the computer desk and the dog was roaming around having a great time but came back wagging her tail behind her. My husband came home after everything was back in place and squared away. I guess this was something God wanted me to learn...With him I am tougher than I think and with him I do not have to fear at all. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways be mindful of him and he will make straight your paths. "
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The first kink was in my back. I tweaked it several years ago while pushing the little girls in a stroller. I ignored it at first(a very bad idea), and after about a year I had a severe back problem that physical therapy didn't even touch. Finally, I decided to take back my health. I started by visiting a chiropractor to realign my back. It took about four or five adjustments. Then in order to keep the problem from reoccurring I began lifting weights three times a week and walking five days a week. It has been a year and a half since I started this program. I am pleased to say that over the course of that time I have lost a little weight and it has stayed off, I am so much stronger that I feel I can carry a baby again, and the best part of all...the kink is gone!!
The next kink is my age...I'm 46! Are you surprised that I tell you this? Well don't be because I worked this kink out too. Physically I feel great...and emotionally I am mature enough to not care about what people think...and Spiritually I always listen to the Word of God which does not say anything about retirement, but does say a lot about finishing the race strong. So this brings me to another one of my poems. (Yes, I did write the adoption poem on this blog!) Here it is...
An aging lady droops just a bit where once all was tight and firm.
A jiggle is seen where it never had been and her waist's a bit hard to discern.
She aches a bit more at the end of her day, she sighs at the changes she sees, Little lines now appear like the feet of a crow 'round her eyes as she laughs through her day.
Though the cream in her jar states, "Miracle Cure!", her smile proves they are here to stay.
Little lines now appear like the feet of a crow 'round her eyes as she laughs through her day.
When out of her head pops a long silver thread that she yanks out triumphantly!
Her children cheer as she jogs 'round the block gaining muscle tone with every lap.
But the sweat and the pain convince her again that it's healthier to take a cat nap.
But not all is grim as time marches on, there's a positive thing that is true,
Those baby stretch marks that were purple and dark are faded to a light shade of blue.
Though her body will fade as the years go by, you won't see a frown on her face,
Because this lady has learned to be more concerned with laughter, and wisdom, and grace.
The last kink we worked out was how to fit eleven people in a four bedroom house. O.K. here is the answer...with lots of love, lots of cooperation, and a little creativity. Of course my husband and I took one room for ourselves. We told everyone that we share a room and so will they. (It's good to start practicing life skills early don't you think?) So our twenty-one and twenty year old young women graciously share a bunk bed trundle with their five year old sister. Our fourteen year old sweetly resides with our other five year old girl. And when our newest 10 year old daughter comes home it will be a bunk with a trundle set up as well. Our two boys share a room downstairs. And as for little Baby M....she will be in one of our two walk-in closets that has been transformed into the most elegant miniature nursery you have ever seen(complete with a small window)!
So now that we have worked out all the kinks we are able to it will be up to God to work out the one that we cannot....Court Date ASAP! Praise God for His abundant provision for our family!!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
When packing each traveler will only take one carry-on suitcase and a backpack for incidentals. Since this is a quick trip(one week) clothing should be at a minimum so that most of the carry-on can be left available for new clothes for Baby M and Beautiful E as well as gifts for caregivers. I will bring Forever New (a travel laundry soap) for washing clothes in the sink. In case you might wonder if taking only carry-on suitcases will be enough room for all we need in Ethiopia... we accomplished this for both our two week trips to China and Russia....one carry-on and one backpack. Rolling clothes into "tootsie rolls" and squeezing them into one gallon Ziploc bags works great!
Bringing much of our food along with us rather than eating out saves money and the stomach. Dehydrated camping meals, Lipton's Cup-O-Noodles, Oatmeal packets, power bars, peanut butter, crackers, tuna packets, dried fruit, Chrystal Lite, and other foods of this kind can be life savers. We also have a water filter that is very compact and is Army tested for extra precaution. I brought this to China and even though I boiled all our water in a hot pot I still filtered our water we used for food and tea and not one of us got sick that two weeks. Many others on our trip had trouble. Taking cool showers so your pores are not open to bacteria and not allowing your face to get into the water prevents waterborne illnesses. Of course bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth is a must. If you forget and dip your toothbrush into the sink water boil it or you'll be sorry.
Another area I took extra time planning out was what medications should I bring. I packed a little of everything for our family from Benadryl to Tums to Band aids. For our baby in China I brought a prescription of Antibiotics(which we used). The Scabies medication we brought along not only got rid of our baby's problem, but since I was the only one to bring it I was able to share with the group and about six or seven other children found instant relief. What a blessing good planning can be. Lice medication was brought to both China and Russia and was not necessary to use but I was glad I brought it just in case.
Camera equipment of course with video capability is mandatory. Our laptop can show movies so we will pack a few it a flat storage case. That make the plane ride easier for the kids in case the airline movie is inappropriate. It also give the kids an option in the room since we are not big TV fans.
The last thing we will bring on this trip to Ethiopia is an attitude of gratefulness and humility. Gratefulness to God and to the Ethiopian people that they will allow us to adopt two of their precious children.And a humbleness that comes from knowing that as this country gives up these children we are the ones who receive the unmerited blessings. It is truly God's grace in action.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The sad thing is that it is not just the secular world that feels this way. I get these responses from the church as well. Many prefer to sign up for the curses of debt and reject the blessings of God. Sometimes I feel I should apologize for my behavior(you know... being willing to mother so many) because it simply makes people feel so uncomfortable. Two's snug, three's a crowd....but seven...talk about cramping ones style??? The funny part about it is I feel like I'm the one who is free. I'm not confined to the societal rules of how many children are appropriate(1.7) or what they should be(one boy and one girl). I do not have to live by the rules that dominate most of the lives around me. My standard is set by a much higher value system...Heaven. And in that place all who come into the family of God are welcomed. And when spiritual children are born angels rejoice. No moaning and gasping. Can you imagine the angels responding to spiritual babies the way people respond to (too many) children being born into a family? What like Gabriel would say," Not another one, we already have so many up here!"And so I choose to respond as the heavenly host and praise God for His blessings of children and for his provision of a way for each of us to be born again into the family of God through his son Jesus.
And so after the adoption of our two newest girls from Ethiopia is finalized I look forward to that inevitable question.... and the answer will be (with a twinkle in my eye), "Nine!!!!"
Praise the Lord and let the heavens rejoice!