Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amazing Transformation!

It was almost four years ago that we brought a small chubby-faced 10 year old Russian boy into our family. It was the first time I had adopted an older child and did not know what to expect. He could not speak our language nor understand what a family really was. His adjustment was as I expected...difficult. Not for me as much as for him. For me most of my life remained the same: Same husband, same kids, same home, same country, same food, same bed, same life. For Denis everything changed: Different smells, different people, different rules, different sounds, different bed, different life! It was hard and he let us know it! Yet ever since I met Denis I realized that I had never met a braver individual. He came with us on an airplane away from everything he had ever known and entered an unfamiliar life with his head up. I will not deny that at first it was hard for all of us, but we made it through and now Denis is a my son. Don't get me wrong, in my heart he was always my son ever since the first decision was made to adopt him. What I really mean is, he feels he is my son and that is an amazing transformation that only God and adoptive parents ever truly get to fully experience. At first Denis wanted to run from us, he did not trust that love was his, but today he wrote a poem that speaks of the profound change in his life. He would not have been able to write these verses four years ago or even one year ago. But somewhere in time love broke through the distrust and my son arrived where he always belonged...here at home!! Here are his words:

The Saddest Place(A Poem)

It was gloomy that day
When my family took me away
From the saddest place
But only God could see what I had to face
And my dream came true finally
And now, I am here with this loving family
That God gave me to love and adore
And I am happy that I do not live on the other side of the shore

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back on the Roller Coaster

It is less than three weeks before our court date! How do I feel...Well have you ever been on Disney's California Screamin' roller coaster ride? Yeah, it's something like that and ironically once I get to Ethiopia I will probable get sick just like the last time I went on that ride! The difference is after this adoption ride is over I will have two new people in my family to go on the real ride for me so I can just sit back and watch them scream and I won't have to get sick anymore. GREAT IDEA!

Here is a fun thing I did yesterday...went shopping. Some of you might not think that is so great, but I got to shop for Baby M. It made this adoption seem more real than ever before. I can picture her in the pale green overalls and onesie that says, "I love ewe!", with the mama sheep kissing the baby sheep on the front. Next week I will shop for Beautiful E.
Some prayer requests are:
*Pray for safety and security for our girls in Ethiopia
*Start praying now for success in court so we can finally get these girls home.
*Our I-171h form has a discrepancy. It states we are approved for two children yet the National Passport Center has us only approved for one baby. Pray I can get it worked out quickly!
*Continued prayer for the details coming together for Project Impact and that the funds that have been committed will come in.

The latest update on Project Impact on October 11th...
Our tables are almost sold out! We only have about twenty spots left. That is a blessing. Many contributors have donated some wonderful auction items. There are just a few details left to finalize. The silent auction brochure needs to be written and the singer has not said if the new date change works for him. It is not a big deal though since we can live without a music presentation, it would just be a cherry on top if it did work out. We have accommodations figured out for all the out of town guests. So everything is coming together. Praise God!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spaghetti Math!

I love starting up school in the fall with my kids. Summer is over, but in Oregon the weather is still hot. Home school is the best because whatever fun thing you can think of to help your children learn, you can do. You are only limited by your imagination. My six year old has been having trouble remembering the numbers 7,8,9, and 10. She can count them but if I change their order she gets them mixed up. So today we tried a different approach...Spaghetti Math! I had the two little ones finish their seat work and I put on the noodles to cook. Once the noodles were loose and squishy I brought my pupils into the kitchen(of course they needed to wear their chef hats). We proceeded to practice making all their noodle numbers 1-10 on the counter. They never realized that we were actually accomplishing our goal of really learning those numbers and the best part was they were able to eat their homework and not get in trouble.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

School's In!!!

Well school is definitely underway around here. We are up at 7:00am. I take a walk with my 20 year old daughter while our 13 and 14 year old kids do math. The little girls(5 and 6) are still sleeping. Our 16 year old boy is starting at the community college this fall while keeping his part time job. He will be out of the house each day by 8:00am just as I am returning from my walk. After I am home it is shower time for me while the older kids get breakfast and practice the piano. At 9:00am the little ones eat and get ready for the day with our twenty year old. She helps out around the house until she has to go to work. Also at 9:00 I start Bible with the older kids and then read to them. At 10:00 the older kids work on science together, while I work with the little ones on math and phonics. At 11:00 the big kids finish English or foreign language, and history while I do Bible, Wee Sing America, math facts, science, and read aloud with the kindergartners. Lunch time for everyone is 12:30pm. After lunch it is recess for all the kids, even the big kids go out to do laser tag or swim while the weather is still good. When the weather changes the kids love to listen to Odyssey or old time radio dramas. (Yes, it is true, if you take away all television and video games your kids will actually resort to old time radio, books, playing with each other, board games and 1000 piece puzzles!!) The little ones are done for the rest of the day. We have quiet time from 1:30-3:00, this gives the older kids peace and quiet for them to work on their American Literature class(I take a nap). Once quiet time is over I go lift at the club or clean house (depending on the day), the older kids take a break and watch the little ones. Afternoon activities include soccer, ballet, or gymnastics on various days and with various kids. I try to do once-a-month cooking so I only have to heat up our dinner from the freezer. It allows for a variety of meals and is less stressful with our big and busy family. Our schedule changes on Wednesdays due to piano lessons and Lit. Circle class, but for the most part it is like this and it works pretty well. Although with two new children on their way(11 months and 10 years) flexibility is always the name of the game.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Things Have Changed

We needed to change the date of our fundraiser from October 4 to October 11. We are very excited though because the new location is much better than the one we had previously secured. Many auction items have come in just this weekend and things are starting to come together. Please continue to lift Project Impact up in prayer as we want God to be glorified and the transition house and orphanage to be helped in a big way!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Coming Together

The fund raiser/auction for Project Impact is top priority for now! The official date is October 4, Saturday from 6-9pm. It will be held in Canby, Oregon at the Cutsforth Town Hall. Invitations will be sent out this weekend, so if you want one let me know. Many people are willing to help with this effort which makes it that much more exciting. Our family coordinator is flying out from Virginia to speak at the event and inform the guests about Ethiopia, its culture, and all the efforts AWAA is doing to aid the orphans of that country. We will be dedicating this evening to the memory of Baby Julia who died of pneumonia before she was able to come home to rest in the arms of her forever family. I pray that God's mighty hand will be over this event and his awesome will will be done.