Monday, September 29, 2008


I have never understood people who dread Mondays.  I have almost always looked forward to Mondays.  I guess it's because I love routine.  I'm one of the sickos who thrives on a to-do list and a schedule.  So, even though I love the family time that the weekend brings, I'm always ready for Monday morning.
Enter adoption journey.  That has changed.  In the last several weeks, I have come to dread Mondays.  Why?  Because Mondays begin the "Will we get the call today?" mindset.  I could literally feel myself unwinding Friday afternoon about 4:45 when I realized the call would not be coming last week.  I slept better Friday night than I had all week, knowing I had 48 hours of "no call" time.  I rolled over at 5:15 this morning and my mind was immediately flooded with that anxiety I had been relieved of all weekend.  I am happy to say I was able to pray through it and actually fall back to sleep.  I'm making progress!  
But even in my Monday phobia, God is good.  It's only 9:27 and I've already been overwhelmed with his goodness this morning.  Here are just a few of the ways he's made me smile this morning.
  • Once again, he lead me to a passage of scripture that showed me he is all over my world right now.  He encouraged me again that he is fighting my battles.  My Bible study lead me to the story of David and Goliath.  I have to confess that right now this adoption feels like a Goliath in my life.  But I was reminded once again that no giant will ever be a match for a big God with a little rock!
  • We decided to have hot cocoa with our breakfast this morning.  This is a big treat for my kids.  Lily made me dig to the back of the mug cupboard to find the mug that had the sunshine on it.  I wasn't sure which one she was referring to, but when I pulled it out I smiled to see the quotation on the side, "This is the day that the Lord hath made."  Even if it is Monday.
  • I opened my email this morning to a precious gift and a sweet reminder of all that God has given me.  We have a dear old friend who came to dinner Saturday night and she  insisted on bringing her camera with her.  She sent me this link- check it out!             
Here's to a great Monday morning!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Choosing Delight

10 Things I'm Choosing to Delight in Today (In No Particular Order)

Fresh, clean 500 thread count bedsheets with the lingering scent of Downy lavender.
The opportunity to homeschool my children today so that we can have moments like we had a few weeks ago at the Target snack bar.  That was the day when Isaac overfilled his slushy cup and while watching the red goo pour over the top he shouted.  "Look mom, it's like Mt. Vesuvius."  Then I got to smile and think- I taught him that!
Our Saturday night dinner plans with precious old friends who we haven't seen in years.
Listening to my daughters plunk out their new piano assignments today.
My amazing husband who is just as anxious to see his son as I am and the fact that he has such a heart for children of every tribe,  tongue, and condition.

The 2.5 pounds I've lost since Monday- I'm choosing to overlook the fact that they were the same 2.5 pounds I "found" while being a glutton at the beach last week.
Friends who call or e-mail immediatly after reading my pathetic "Struggling" post yesterday
My favorite "mauve" Bible.  The one that still has my maiden name on it and even though I've gotten at least a half dozen "new and improved" Bibles through the years, it remains my favorite.
My midday miniature Heath bar indulgence and the fact that it only has 76.66 calories
My precious children who will wake up in a few minutes and remind me that today may be the day that we get THE call with just as much enthusiasm as they were saying it six weeks ago.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have really struggled with how much to post about my current struggles.  When it comes to blog posting, I keep wondering where is the line between being transparent and real vs. being a spoiled, privileged crybaby.   I'm not sure, but I've decided that for today, I'm going to risk sounding like a crybaby in the hopes that my transparency might encourage someone.  IT could be that the only someone I may encourage may be me when I look back over this winding difficult journey known as adoption. 
If you would have told me back when we hit the wait list in May that 20 weeks later I'd still be waiting for THE call, I would have laughed at you.  I'm not laughing now.  The 11-14 week wait times that were common when we started this journey appear to be a thing of the past, at least for now. 
Let me just say, this wait is hard.  It is SO much harder than I thought it would be.  I have four children and a very busy life, it seems I would have so much to keep me occupied.  And I did, until about 3 weeks ago.  Then, for some reason, I began struggling.  I continue to struggle.  I have moments where I have victory, and moments where I can think the happy thoughts and cling to the scriptures and truths that I know to be true.  
But then there are those moments where I have these temper tantrums in my heart.  I explain to God all the reasons why this is not the wait I signed up for and why I need another piece of the puzzle TODAY.  There are moments when I take a field trip in my mind and I think about meeting him for the first time and rocking him and watching his brother and sisters who have petitioned so faithfully for him as they hold him for the first time and I weep.  This is hard.  I'm struggling, we're struggling.
Some of you are thinking, "Sheesh lady, we're talking about a couple of months here, get a grip!"  Let me just say-try it.  Then give me some pointers on how to handle it more gracefully, I'd love to know.  I know that when that call comes, the anxiety of these last few weeks will vanish.  I can't wait to prove to myself that's the truth.
I can say this, God is faithful.  I know that more with each day when 5:00 CST rolls around and the phone hasn't rung.  He continues to encourage me with music and scripture reminding me of his goodness and his faithfulness and his perfect plan.  That alone is sustaining me through this "struggling" time.  That alone is enough.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Growing Up

Our family attends a fairly large church that runs three services and Sunday Schools simultaneously.   Since my husband is on staff, we have lots of folks that we know but we only see once in a while.  So nearly every Sunday at least one person makes some comment about how fast or how much my children are growing.  I've developed a standard response.  I almost always say, "I know, it's the craziest thing, you feed them, they grow!"  
But, today as we were playing on the beach, I had one of those moments where I realized how fast they really are growing up.  There were several little benchmarks on this beach trip that made me realize how rapidly they're growing and gaining independence.  Here are a few things that hit me during these few days at the beach:
  • This was the first time all of my children could write their own name in the sand.

  • I didn't have to spend my entire time at the beach keeping children from chasing the helpless birds and they all actually wanted to go into the waves of their own free will.
  • Everyone managed to apply their own sunscreen, without my help!
  • We actually have a decent photo of Ryan and I TOGETHER taken by one of our children.

  • When we took them to the outlet mall to get their fall shoes, we found out Abby now needs ladies sized shoes- goodbye Stride Rite!
It's bittersweet.  I know that's the way it's supposed to be.  It's the natural progression of things.  But, I know there will be many times in the future that I will long for little shoulders to slather with sunscreen and toddlers who get glee from tormenting the gulls.  So, I'm going to make every effort to treasure these moments that seem to be fleeting so quickly.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let them eat cake, or pie, or both

This has been an insane week.  It was one of those weeks where you look back and realize there was really no one big crazy thing that went down.  It was just a lot of little crazies that added up to one big crazy week.  
The week began to go nutty Tuesday at lunch time.  Abby is responsible for preparing lunch on school days this year, and she had decided to make pizza.  So, I was upstairs doing Math with Lily when she comes up and tells me that she thinks something is wrong with the deep freeze.  Boy, was she right!  I'm not exactly sure who hit the reset button on the garage surge protector, but let's just say we learned that lesson the hard (and stinky way).  Fortunately, the freezer is fine, but the food was not longer cold by the time we figured it out.  So, I spent the afternoon throwing away a good chunk of the grocery budget and scraping exploded yeast dough off the sides of the tilapia scented freezer walls.  The bright spot in the whole thing was this...

Ryan's parents had left a frozen chocolate silk pie after their last visit and it was still cool enough that I let the kids grab a fork and dig in before throwing the rest of it away.  They were psyched.

Abby was sick Wednesday and Thursday and to make matters worse, her sweet parakeet Snowbell kicked the bucket Thursday AM- so we had much crying throughout the day Thursday.  Bless her heart, this is her first attempt at a pet, and she's lost 2 parakeets in 3 months.  I felt terrible for her because she's been so responsible to care for them properly- it's just not working out well for her!

This photo of Snowbell was taken Wednesday night. Grandma came to stay with Abby since she was not feeling well and Ryan and I both had teaching responsibilities at church. Those are Grandma's hand holding Snowbell in the dollhouse bed while Abby took the photo. That Grandma, she's incorrigible!

It was my week to teach at Friday co-op, so I spent part of my week prepping 3 hours worth of Viking activities for my 1-3rd graders.  Did you know that Vikings didn't really have horns sticking out of their hats?  I know, I was disappointed too.  Some history misconceptions are just better left unexposed:)!

Then Friday night brought Lizzy's 8th birthday and a luau to celebrate.  We had lots of fun and I am floored that she is EIGHT.  Why does time just seem to be slipping through my fingers?  

Fortunately, all the activity of last week made for a great distraction from "the wait."  We're headed to the beach this week, so this one should fly by too.  We can't believe, we have officially passed the 4 month mark!

Friday, September 12, 2008


For the word of God is Living and active.  Shaper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

I'm not exactly sure who reads this blog.  Well, I know some of you. Hi Mom!  But I don't know all of you.  So, I'm not exactly sure how many of you are in the habit of reading the Bible.  I learned a long time that if I'm going to navigate this world with any kind of success, it is a must for me.  It's not that I'm so holy, I'm just so desperate.  

Lately, God keeps bringing me to this one story in the Bible.   Many times I have picked up various publications in the last couple of months and found myself reading the story again- I can't get away from it.  It's the story of Hannah and Samuel.  The crazy thing is, I just started a new 90 day Bible Study on David this week- I wasn't planning on running into Hannah again for 90 days.  So I get up on Day 4- and guess who the star of the text is- HANNAH!

The story goes something like this... You see, there's this lady named Hannah, she's barren.  To make matters worse, her husband has a second wife, that wife is not barren.  That wife has children and she picks on Hannah all of the time because Hannah can't have children.  So, Hannah goes to the temple and pleads with God, she promises to dedicate her child to the Lord if he will grant her request.  God honors her prayer and she becomes pregnant.  When the child is weaned, she takes him to the temple and turns him over to live with the priest.  

Now every time I've read that story these last few months I've been focusing on the fact that Hannah relinquished her son after weaning him.  Ryan and I have been praying about some things dealing with our current children that are challenging us to consider letting go of our children a little more than we ever have before.  So,  God has used that aspect of the story to challenge me to trust him with whatever he calls my children to do.  Period.

But yesterday morning, the morning after I wrote my crybaby post on expectations, I awoke once again to Hannah.  This time, God used a different part of the story to tender my heart.  I had one of those "Hey Lady!  I'm talking to you" moments with God.  Here is the verse that really gave me comfort and that helped me realize my anxiety is not new on this earth, I am not alone, and God will answer.  
"She made a vow and said, O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come to his head." 1 Samuel 1:11

Wow!  Except for the no razor on the head part, I'm there.  Hannah voiced exactly what I feel.  I am so glad that God has allowed us to wait beyond my expected timeline.  I don't ever want to forget what God reminded me of yesterday morning.  This is not about me.  This is not about some white westerner rescuing some poor African orphan.  This is about God entrusting me with a gift- a precious son and I in turn making every effort to return that son to him.  Thank the Lord I won't be weening him and returning him to the temple, although God's grace would be sufficient for me if that's what he required.  

So, I feel girded up again, ready for the next phase of the wait.  Still anxious to unwrap the gift, but more certain that I am not forgotten and that it's going to be done exactly when and how it needs to be done.  (Hey, would somebody please remind me to read this post again in a few weeks if necessary?) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Okay, so we're ready to get our referral.  We're over the wait, we're tired, it's time.  It's not even that we've been waiting so long.  When we started this process, I looked at dozens of timelines and I calculated a variety of scenarios.  I determined that people were rarely waiting over 3 months for baby boys.  We have been waiting 4 months this week.  

Let's be reasonable here.   We're still well within the 3-5 month timeline given to us by our agency.  We have friends who have waited years for referrals from China.  We even have a friend whose adoptive country has closed mid-process- they won't be getting a referral- at all. The bottom line is, I am acting like a spoiled brat.   I have thought a lot about why I am so bummed by the wait and I think it all comes down to one thing- expectations.   You see, I expected to have a referral by now.  I expected to be painting and shopping and carrying photos by now.  I didn't get what I expected.

The thing is, it doesn't make sense that we should be in a hurry.  Our life is already crazy busy and I know that the day we get that phone call, things will instantly become more complicated. That phone call will bring a string of physical, financial, and emotional demands.  But, isn't that just the way life works?  I can think of very few lasting pleasures in life that come without demands.  Marriage, ministry, parenting-  they all bring great joy while at the same time demanding great energy and sacrifice.  

So, the wait goes on.  I know that every day that passes brings us one day closer to our son. One day closer to touching his skin and kissing his cheek and reading him the same precious board books I've read to all my babies.  I can't wait.  But I can and I will.  Each day I'll fight to choose joy through this wait, knowing that not a day of my wait is without purpose.  And reminding myself  that the God who created my son and chose our family is not surprised by one day of this wait.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he expected it!