Friday, December 21, 2007

I just wanted to see Christmas lights

Not the lights of a fire truck, ambulance and several cop cars.

We were driving in town tonight to go see the big cmas lights at the park and from nowhere a man steps out in front of our van and we hit him.He was at the liquor store and decided to cross 5 lanes of traffic, drunk, at night, holding a bottle of Vodka. We never saw him, but he hit our mirror and windshield, then we ran over his feet.

The windshield is shattered and the mirror is dangling. We immediately pulled over and before Dave could get out of the van and run back a fire truck had been at the Taco Bell and saw it happen, so they drug the guy to the side of the road. He was beyond drunk and was feeling no pain. They said he probably had a broken pelvis and no telling what damage to his feet and maybe internal bleeding. He kept saying he didn't want to go to the ER.

My kids are really shook up. They thought he was dead and that we killed him. We keep talking about it and let them stand out side with the nice policeman while he wrote up our stuff. The police said this guy was a repeat offender and it was for sure, not our fault.

God truly protected our family. When I think about all the "what ifs", it could have been so much worse that it was. hopefully this is a wake up call to this man (in his 20's) and he will get sober and change his life around.

There is glass on the inside of the van, it's going to need quite a bit of work. But we are ok.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

{Life}

This is a list of things I have heard my self say lately:

Don't fight over the baby, he's not a toy.

Don't suck on the icycles.

No, coochie is not a bad word, but you still don't need to say it.


Things I have heard in my house lately:

I hit myself in the junk--Davis

Mom, do I have Junk?--Paige

Is Bizi made out of cocoa?--Paige

Mom, don't worry about how expensive a Nintendo DS is. I asked Santa for it so you don't have to buy it.--Davis

Every time we go over that hill it tickles my pee-pee.--both

And the sweetest thing I've heard this week:

Mama--Bizi

Monday, December 3, 2007

{Family}



{Davis is funny}


The kids are enamored with Bizi's skin. They are always touching and kissing on him. (who could blame them?)

Yesterday, Davis kissed Biz and said "Mom, Biz tastes like chocolate." Then out of the corner of my eye I see Davis lick his hand then lean over and lick Bizi's hand. He noticed me looking and said "we taste the same!".


That is some sweet brother lovin'!


Friday, November 30, 2007

{Just a Small Update}

We are good!

Bizi is trying to crawl, rolling everywhere, and healthy as a horse. He also has 4 teeth trying to come through.

Paige started gymnastics this week. She's going to the same place where Shannon Miller trained. (whoop dee do.)

Davis is playing basketball and doing great with it. We have our first real game this Saturday.

I am healthy finally. They treated me for Malaria, but I also tested positive for CMV and 5th's disease. All cooties from my kids. That's what I get for teaching them to share!

Dave is trying to find ways not to put lights on the house for Christmas.

So all in all we are busy, happy and enjoying having 3 kids underfoot.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

{Travel log on the way to Rwanda}

Friday Sept 21st 11:09AM
Right now we are somewhere over the Gulf of Main. (I didn't know Main had a gulf. Already this trip is making me smarter!) We have 3774 more miles to go! There are these cool TV's hanging down from the ceiling that show a map with a little airplane going across the Atlantic. It updates every so often with the altitude (33,000ft), temp -47F, and arrival times. We have TV's in the backs of our seats, but so far none of the sound works on our row. This is by far the biggest plane I remember being on, and I'm sure it is not all that big compared to some. It has two seats by the window, three seats in the middle and two more on the other side. Dave and I were seated in two by the window, but there is no one next to us, so I have scooted over and spread out on the 4. Each seat comes with a pillow and blanket and the one next to me has a very handsome man in it! It's nice to have a good looking traveling partner!

Lunch was served at 11:45 by our very nice flight attendants who offered cheeken or feesh. We both had the Chicken with rice, veggies, small salad, very hard, cold roll and some yummy cheese cake. It is served in hard plastic dishes the color of advacado green once seen on our refrigerator when I was little. The dishes are the same size as Paige's tea party set and would make a nice addition to her collection if not for that pesky commandment that makes me give them back.

I am surrounded by languages I don't understand and faces I have never seen before and it is refreshing and scary all at the same time. I'm not scared for my safety. My mind is being stretched farther than it has ever been with thoughts of places I have only seen on TV being reality very soon. All these people, all children of God. All loved by the same heavenly father that loves me. It's hard to compute in my tiny little Midwestern brain.

You know me...always chatty...I've already met a girl from CA who is probably a little younger than me who is on her way to Ethiopia to spend 10 days working in an orphanage. She is the opposite of the quintessential Valley Girl. Her long brown hair is streaked with almost white highlights (that I want to re-create when I get home), she has a tattoo on her wrist and I saw one peaking out from under her pant leg. She oozes coolness and in just the few minutes we chatted I knew she was someone of depth and would be fun to get to know. She's a few rows ahead of us and later after I nap, I'm going to go see if she wants to share my luxurious seating so I can listen to her life story some more.

Monday, November 12, 2007

{Malaria}

Is no fun! Malaria is the one souvenir I did not want to bring back from Rwanda, but the mosquito's had different plans.

I have been running a fever since Halloween and have felt like I had the flu, but was not getting better. After 2 weeks with fever, chills, head aches, and weakness I finally googled malaria. Then I called my dr. They thought I was a little looney, but blood test showed my liver enzymes were elevated. (Malaria is parasites that live in your liver an move on to your blood stream) Now I have the constant heeby-jeebies that there are bugs in my body! EWWW!

More meds, lots of fluids and rest (ha!). Not sure how long the bugs will make me feel bad. My poor kids have been putting up with a sick mama for too long. The weather is beautiful and I should be outside with them.

Not much for an update! The good news is that the rest of the family is on the up swing to good health and my parents will be here next week for Turkey day!

I have some great picts of the 3 kids together that I will post soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

{BOO}




Saturday, October 20, 2007

More random picts

Jet lag looks good on us!
Hanging out after church
The neighborhood where we stayed

{pictures}




{Thankful}

There is no way to truly express our gratitude to everyone who has stood beside us during this journey. I believe God gives us a community of believers and supporters to act as his hands. For all of the God's hands that have hugged, helped, clapped and wiped tears, Thank You!



For all the God's hands who have prepared delicious food for our family...Thank you.



For all the God's hands who have logged on and prayed over our prayer request...Thank you.



For all the God's hands who have picked up the phone to encourage us...Thank you.



For all the God's hands who have given baby items so that our sweet little boy is lacking in nothing...Thank you.



For all the God's hands who have supported us financially...Thank you.



For all the God's hands who have not smacked me upside the head when I blabbed on and on about the adoption...Thank you!



For all the God's hands who have spent time telling others about God's story unfolding in our lives....Thank you.

And to our Lord, thank you for choosing us for this journey, trusting us with another one of your children, and dying for us so that we can all be in heaven together.

{Update}

Wow! Where has a week gone?! We ARE alive, just to squelch the rumors, and starting to thrive I might add.

All three kids are doing great and settling in. I have tons of help, wink-wink, and we are trying to carve out time to spend one-on-one with the big kids.

Jet lag is a dirty beast! The first 3 days Dave, Bizi and I were up at 3AM, just awake....la de da...nothing to do but eat Mexican casserole. Yesterday I was up at 4:30am and today we made it all the way to 5:14!!

Bizi went to the Dr. last Friday. He has put on 3lbs! His outie belly button is actually a hernia. We are going to watch it for a little while, there is a small possibility of a surgery in the future. Overall, she was impressed with him. Some small developmental delays, but he is improving daily by leaps and bounds.

I will try to get some new pictures up soon! Much love to you all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

{Home Sweet Home}

The End!


Or is it just the beginning????

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

{MOS}

Just talked to Dave-O and he said they screwed up the visa. They put him down as a girl. WHAT IS UP????? AUGHGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!

They said it would take a couple of days to fix and Dave told them that we don't have a couple of days, so they said to come back in an hour. He is going to pick up our tickets then heading back to the embassy.

Please Lord, let the embassy fix it fast. We just want to come home.

Turn out the lights...the party's over!

Today is the day! Dave is heading to the Embassy at 10am to pick up the visa and we are heading to the airport at 2:30pm to catch our 6:15pm flight. We land in OKC Wed. night at 8:25pm.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!
Pray us home!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

God is good all the time..

And all the time GOD IS GOOD!

Today at the Village Market we ran into the same man who did our Visa interview at the Embassy. We asked him if there was any way to pick of the visa early so that we could make the 6:15pm flight and he told Dave to come at 10AM!! WOO HOO! PTL!

Now we just need two seats to open up on Ethiopia Air and we will be heading home Tuesday!! Please don't tell the kids just incase we miss the flight.

We have nothing to do the next 2 days, so we might go on a day safari or something like that. Not sure yet, but hanging out in the room with no TV or air conditioning for 2 days does not sound fun.

Please pray for two empty seats!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

We will have a Visa on Tuesday and are attempting to fly standby Tuesday night!! We will leave Thursday at the latest. We are praying for the visa to be ready early!!! It is time to come home, I miss my kids!

The Bad

Ya know how I hate to borrow things......yup you guessed it....the big stack of DVD's that I borrowed have dissapeared. Morton's I promise I will replace them once we get back!!! I'm so sorry!! THAT IS WHY I NEVER BORROW ANYTHING!!!!

The Ugly

My hairy legs!! We have been in such a hurry the last few days that shaving was a no go. Today I'm sitting with a skirt on and almost gagged. I am a hairy beast!

Homesickness is also ugly. I'm beyond ready to come home and hug my babies. I'm ready for a microwave and air conditioning. I solomly swear (holding up two or three fingers or whatever..) to never gripe about doing laundry again. Just not wringing it out by hand will be heaven!

Have I told you how perfect Ethan is??? HE IS PERFECT! Sweet, smiles all the time and totally bonded to both of us. Wait unil you see him do his smooshy nose thing. You will be instantly smitten!

I had a woman ask me if he was mine and when I said yes, she said "Are you sure?". Jana told me that they probably think Dave is a good man for forgiving me! I don't care what people think....he is mine and is a perfect fit into our family. I couldn't love him more if I had pushed him out of my body.

Speaking of...he is sitting in my lap, drooling on my arm and ready to go to bed.

I love and miss you all. Please keep praying us home!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pictures

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

{Nairobi}

Just a quick update...internet is iffy, and we have not had electricity this morning. We found an error on Ethan's passport. They have him marked for a female and not a male. We are working very hard to find a way to fix it so that I don't have to go back to Rwanda this week with him. After a very frusterating day for Dave and Jana at the Rwandan Embassy (frustrating due to the electricity being out there also, not the people) looks like we will have a new passport issued in Kigali and Dave Jenkins will fly the new one to us. This whole fiasco was just so that a hard working missionary could get a little vacation!

We have been to the dr. here in Nairobi and should have bloodwork back on Wed. We then have an appointment at the US embassy on Thursday. PLEASE pray that they will agree to give us Ethan's visa on Friday or Tuesday of the next week. Due to 2 Kenyan holidays and Columbus day, the embassy is not issuing visa's the next week and told us we would have to wait an extra week to get it. That would be a week after our plane leaves to come home. UGH! Our prayer is that they take pitty on us and will rush ours through. If I had my kids with me then I would happily stay an extra week, but my heart hurts for them so much that I fight all day not to cry. (I loose quite often)

The trip as a whole has been a life altering experience. So much of what I thought about Africa was WRONG! I realize there is so much I don't know about the world, about people and life in general.

Please pray for us to have wisdom to know when to push our way through and when to be patient. Please pray for us to find favor in the eyes of those who look at our paperwork throughout the rest of the journey.

I can't wait to hug you all!

Rachel---I want to hear all about your week in Ethiopia! I thought of you often this week, and hope you made it home saftely.

Lee--Pray us home sweet friend

Mom--quit worring! We are fine!

JNice--Ethan is so cute in Joel's clothes! I thank God for you every time I change him!

Sisters--Just wait until you squeeze this new addition to the family! He is wonderful and silly like the rest of our kids!

Kitty--Tell your mom to get on the Gold phone!

Keli--Girlfriend, you are going to sail through your trip! There is not going to be anything left to go wrong by the time you get over here. I have cried harder for your babies than anything else on this trip. It's not fair that I can't bring them with me to a family that will love them. I have never felt so frustrated in all my life.

Everyone else--I love you and thanks for keeping up with us!

The spell check is not working and you know me...so please overlook the bad spelling!

Friday, September 28, 2007

{Who has a passport??}

WE DO!! After some frusterating moments at the Immigration office (more on that later) we walked out of there with Bizi's passport and that equals FREEDOM! Freedom to come home and start his life in America with a family that loves him.

He is putting more weight on his legs each day and Holly almost got him to roll over last night, but his head was in the way. I can tell such a difference in his muscle strenght. Each day he is stronger and louder! He spits raspberries all day and of course people think it is funny, so he does it even bigger and louder.

I had planned on a longer post but he is hungry, so I'll update more later. Oh, did I tell you he slept through the night last night?!! He is perfect!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

{Some things are universal}

Funny stories while the baby is sleeping:

We have been using the same taxi driver every day while we are here. He is Jana's favorite and rightfully so. Yesterday Dave and I were doing some running around solo and when we got in the taxi I heard "you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em'. Know when to walk away and know when to run..." Jamata was listining to Kenny Rogers!! Then when that song was over I heard Dolly Parton singing a duet with Kenny. It was a tape! Dave and I asked him to rewind it and we belted out The Gambler while crusing the streets of Kigali! Move over Davis Hasselhoff...Rwandan's love Kenny Rogers!

On the same lines...the Hixson's have a day guard named Chance that is super nice and we chat quite a bit during the day. Yesterday he was here and I had my MP3 player out. I asked him if he wanted to listen, thinking that I was going to show him music that he has never heard before, from America! So, I put the ear piece up to his ear and he says "Beyonce!". He even knew the name of the song! Now he is sweeping the floor with my MP3 player strapped to his arm. He is such a sweet kid and asks me everyday if I can help him come to America. Everyone asks if I can help them. We as Americans have no idea the blessing we have been given by being born in a free world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

{Bizimana}

Bizimana is what all the nuns called Ethan when we went back to the orphanage today for a tour. It was horribly excrutiating to walk out of that room knowing that a) we were only taking one and that so many more need homes. And b) the hardest part was knowing that the Shreck's babies were in there and I could not bring them with me to a waiting, loving home. I couldn't stop crying for Keli and her babies. It still tears me up.

The women in the Ministers office were VERY concerned that Ethan is 9 months old and can not stand on his legs. On the second day of them going on and on about it I finally had enough and told them "Yes, it is BAD and that is why we must hurry the dossiers so that the babies will have a mommy faster." THEY ARE PART OF THE REASON THE BABIES ARE BEHIND!!! AUGH!! I pulled out the dossier for the Shreck's and said "They are ready, the babies room is ready, we just need you to approve them." We have things in our own country that are slow, but you would think that a country over run with orphans would be more than willing to help people who want to adopt. It's very frustrating.

We took Bizi to the ER today because he has been pulling at his ears (what an experience) and the dr said his ears are fine but he has the flu (they call a cold or sinus infection 'flu'). They gave us RX for Amox, and some decongestant. The Amox cost $.50! He is a trooper and is now sleeping on top of his daddy. We want to get his head cleard up before we fly on Sunday.

Still no passport. We went yesterday and they told us to come back today, then we go back today at 2:00pm and they tell us to come back at 4pm. We told them we would come back tomorrow. So tomorrow we are going back to the orphanage to take them another paper, then to the passport office, then to the genocide memorial. It will be a mega tissue day. I'm looking forward to being home with Ethan and not dragging him all over town all day.

I wish I could describe the driving over here. I took some video, but even that is not the same. There are people everywhere and cars drive when and where they want. It's a good way to work on your prayer time!

We are off to bed. Much love to you all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

{Sore arms & a happy heart}

Hello from beautiful Kigali! What a life altering experience this week has been and it is only Tuesday!

As you know we picked up Ethan on Saturday and he is a dream baby. I carry him in the ring sling that was given to us and he is content to be drug all over town all day long. He has found his voice today and talks and giggles most of the day. He wakes up with a sad cry that breaks my heart, but once he gets his eyes open he is all smiles.

I would love to give a more lenghty update, but I'm running on 4 hours of sleep and the elevation is making me dizzy/light headed, so looking at the computer screen is weird.

We are good. Ethan is as perfect as Davis and Paige. We can't wait to be home.

Much love!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

{DC}

We made it to DC! This morning we got the kids off to school and Dave's dad dropped us off at the airport right on time. 3 of our 4 bags were over in weight, but the very nice man only charged us for 2. That was a fast $100 out of the gates! Once in DC we boarded the shuttle for the Hampton Inn not knowing there are 4 in the area. After 20 minutes of seeing the beautiful Sully, Virginia and riding with a man from Liberia that asked if we would adopt him as well...we realized we were headed in the wrong direction. I mentioned that the hotel web site listed the hotel was only 1.5 miles away and this was the longest 1.5 miles EVER. Dave asked the driver and he all but rolled his eyes, but took us back to the airport where Julio was waiting with the van to take us to the correct hotel.

We went to dinner at the Holiday Inn next door, and we are washing clothes in the sink so that we can wear them again tomorrow! We are dog tired and yet "fired up" (thanks Keli!) with what is to come tomorrow. Hold on baby Ethan....mommy and daddy are on our way!

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers on my voicemail! We love all of you tons!

RWANDA OR BUST!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Butterflies

Man, does my tummy have butterflies! It seems to do flip flops all day. I spent the day running to the bank, Wal-Mart (hopefully for the last time!), and answering the door when people came by with stuff to mule over to Rwanda. Dave and I will be like Santa once we unpack our bags!

The kids are packed and ready to go to Granny and Papa's. The dog is heading to Doggie Day Care tomorrow. After asking the kids several times if they want to go to the airport with us (yea) or to school (boo) on Thursday, they repeatedly tell me they want to go to school. I see where I rank. So, Thursday we will take them to school as usual and head to the airport. Our flight leaves as 11:05.

The plan is to get a good nights sleep and run my tail off again tomorrow. Back to the bank, more laundry, last of the dishes, church, dinner with friends and maybe even scrubbing the refridgerator. Well...maybe not the refridgerator...a woman has her limits!

Much love!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

{Quiet before the storm}

It is a quiet Sunday around our house. Both kids are napping and even daddy has crashed on the couch. I have a mothers premonition that this will be the last quiet moment of the week.

Last week I busted my tail to get as much running/shopping/packing/freaking out done as possible so that we could have a fun weekend with the kids and just chill. It worked! Saturday we played outside in the gloriously cool weather, had steak and crab legs at Dave's parents house and God even let the Sooners win so that we (I) would have a week of peace!

I'm sure the next three days will fly by and only with the grace of God and my spiral notebook full of list will I leave this country without forgetting something basic like my toothbrush!

We are excited, but Dave and I both are horribly heart-torn over leaving the kids. I had a friend point out that the Shepard left the flock to find the one lost sheep. I had never thought of that verse pertaining to our situation, but it has brought me much needed peace. We know that this is God's plan for our family and we also know that many of God's plans require us to move from our comfort zone and have faith that the end is worth any pain or discomfort.

I told a friend at church today that this week is like being at the end of your second pregnancy...you *know* it's going to hurt like crazy, but you go the hospital anyhow!

Thanks for every one's prayers, hugs and offers of help. Please keep praying while we are gone.
Much love!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

{7 days and counting}

A week from tomorrow we will be getting on the plane! Today has been crazy busy with shopping and returning, and shopping some more. My plan is to have everything done this week and this weekend we can just chill with the kids. The weather has been beautiful with a high of 78, so a trip to the park would be nice.

As of yesterday Ethan is offically ours! The court approved us and let Jana stand in for us. PTL! It was a huge answer to prayer.

Jana is taking Ethan to get his passport photo tomorrow. What a world traveler the kid will be! I just got a passport this year!

I plan on keeping this blog updated while we are gone. I think it will be eaiser than trying to remember email addresses.

Much love to you all!

Monday, September 10, 2007

{9 Days and Counting}

9 Days, holy cow it looks funny on paper. 11 days and I will be holding my sweet Ethan. The kicker is that in 9 days I have to say goodbye to my 2 sweeties for 3 weeks. I don't recall a time in my life when my heart has been so torn.

We found out that Ethan's Rwandan name is Ange Bizimana. Ange (pronounced like on-g) means "Angel" in French. Biz means "Knows" and Imana means "God". The nuns in Kigali Rwanda named that innocent little orphan boy Angel that knows God. Does it get any sweeter? We are going to keep Bizimana as a second middle name.

I'm excited and scared. Happy and sad. Fearful and hopeful. Tired and wired. Crying and smiling. I'm ready for the roller coaster to stop and let me off this crazy ride.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

{Count Down}

Here I thought buying the tickets would be the easy part!

Boy, was I wrong!

We have been talking to two different agencies, one here locally and one that I found on the net that specializes in adoption flights. I'm hoping that we get all of this ironed out today. I WANT TICKETS!! That somehow, in my mind, makes it official! Looks like we will actually be leaving on the 20th to fly to D.C. then leave the 21st, refuel in Rome, head on to Ethiopia then to Kigali. 3 days of travel, but worth every second.

On the way home we have an 8 hr layover in Ethiopia and I think we might take a cab around the city. Might as well make the most of our International travel! I love seeing new places and can't wait to see Italy, even if it is just from my plane window! (I'd better get a window!!)

Some very sweet friends are throwing me a baby shower tomorrow and I'm so excited! And that reminds me I need to charge up my camera!

Off to make more list of things that need to be done before we leave!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

{Date to Remember}


We have a date! The judge is going to allow Jana to stand in for us at the court date on the 10th. We are talking to travel agents right now and plan on leaving the 21st to go get our sweet baby!

I've never seen Dave do such a funky happy dance in our 10 years of marriage!

Please keep praying for Ethan, the officials in charge of our paperwork and for the babies left behind (here and in Rwanda).

Much love to you all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A reason to update!



The email below came from a member of our church who is in Rwanda right now. She picked up E today to take him to the Dr.

Dave and Melissa,

Jane and I went to the orphanage this morning and picked up Ethan to
take him to the hospital for his PCR test. We got there at 7:30 AM,
but had to wait about 10-15 minutes for him to come to us (they left
us at the front gate). He was still asleep when we got there, so
they had had to wake him and dress him! He was in good spirits and
wide-eyed. I tried to get him to have something to do with me, but
he wouldn't have any of it! After we got to the hospital, Jane had
to talk to the lady at the admitting window to let her know why we
were there and where did we need to go to get the test done. I tried
to hold him but he kept looking intently at me, then puckered up and
started crying! Jane would take him then and he would quieten down.
I decided that he didn't know what white skin looked like and was
afraid of me.

I have decided that if you want to get something done in this town,
you had better have Jane by your side! It seems that she knows most
of the people in this town. I bet there were 10 people that walked
through where we would be waiting that knew her! One of the men that
she saw early on took us the back way to the emergency room, because
that was the quickest way to be seen. They checked him in there,
then someone else that knew her took us directly to the lab, where we
waited maybe 15 minutes to get in.

The two nurses were very impressed with him and how alert he is. I
was concerned that they would have trouble finding his little vein in
his arm, but she didn't have any trouble at all. She put the needle
in without the syringe attached and just let his blood drip into the
test tube. That little stinker didn't cry AT ALL while this was
being done! He reacted to the needle going in, but by that time, I
was around behind the nurse and distracting him. He visibly relaxed
and really enjoyed being the center of attention, then. The nurses
went on and on about him and how happy they were that he would have
such wonderful opportunities in America. They also wished that all
the orphans could have such a chance. I showed them you all's
pictures and they just went on and on about you guys, then. They
were disappointed that he couldn't or wouldn't put any weight on his
legs. They also were concerned about his head being flat on the back
from lying in his crib so much. This will correct itself quickly,
I'm sure, once you guys get him.

I checked on the size clothes he had on and they were 12 months
size. They were pretty large on him, but they fit him better than 9
months would have, probably. The outfit they had him in was pretty
cute, as you will see in the pictures. I thought they were going to
weigh him at one point in the emergency room, but they ended up
aborting most of what they usually do in that process. The doctor
circumvented a lot of it for us, since he wasn't really sick.

The test results will be back next Friday, from what I understood.
This is sooner than what they had first told us, which was 2 weeks.
The nurse said that she thought it was a very good idea to get this
particular test done, and thought that all the orphans should get it
just to be sure.

I hope you enjoy the pictures I took. I took one of his little feet
(I love baby feet!). He has the longest toes!! Even the nurses
commented about them. He came out of the orphanage with little socks
on, but one immediately came off, so Jane just took the other one off
so we wouldn't have to keep up with them.

I showed the nun your pictures that you wanted put in his crib, and
she was delighted with the idea! She took them and the toys and said
that all of it would be put in his crib. I just hope that that is
what truly happens. He really enjoyed the stimulus of being out and
about this morning, so he will probably really benefit from the
pictures and toys being where he can see them. He was reaching and
trying to grab anything that came close to his hands. He also was
sticking his tongue out every time we came near his mouth before Jane
fed him his bottle!

I hope I haven't given you too much detail, but I would have
appreciated more information about our adopted kids lives before we
got them 37 and 34 years ago, so I gave you what I wish I had been
given then!!

All the best to you guys! We are sending the pictures in a separate
email, so hope it works!
Sue

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No news

The only update is that there is no update.

We are still here, E is still in Rwanda. Let the crying continue.

Friday, August 17, 2007

{Another First}


Big Dog lost his first tooth! He's been working on it for a while and daddy tried to wiggle it with a napkin and it fell out. The tooth fairy brought him a dollar. Funny story: Big D called me while I was scrapbooking with the girls to tell me that the tooth had come out and that D was already asleep. He also told me that he took a dollar out of P's purse to put under D's pillow! I thought that was hilarious! Poor little girl! Anyhow, I told Big D that I had left some dollars on top of the fridge so he could pay her back. Funny Funny...

{First Day of School}




Yesterday was the first day of school around here. Baby girl started Pre-K and loves it! She is in school from 8:20-11am. Just enough time for me to hit Wal-Mart and do a load of laundry!


Check out my big First Grader! It is so weird not to have him around the house during the day! I keep looking for him or expecting him to ask me for something to eat. He is really enjoying it, but I can tell that he is a little overwhelmed. It will take him a little bit to get use to the new schedule, but he has always loved school, so I'm not worried about him.

Monday, August 13, 2007

{Baby boy}


Here is the first picture of Ethan Matthew. He is about 7 months old and weighs 13lbs. We think he is the sweetest thing and our hearts are full!
More later!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Closer

Thank you, Lord for another day to be your servant and to worship you with our lives. Thank you, Lord for my beautiful children that I get to squeeze everyday. And Lord, thank you for letting us adopt Ethan. Our hearts are full of love for him.

Today we heard that our approval letter is in Jana's hands. We will talk to her later today and try to nail down some travel plans.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday, July 31

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bike is Sold



My sweet biker hubby took one for the team this week by selling his bike. He did it with a willing heart for the adoption. It really helped us get closer to our goal. He is amazing and his love for his children is obvious to anyone around.

I'm sure we'll fill the empty spot in the garage as soon as we can. Because really, with out the bike D is just a weird guy with earrings and tattoos! *LY babe!*


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Quiet Sunday

Today was a great Sunday. Started out with worship and praise this morning followed by a sermon about dreaming God sized dreams. Amen to that! Then we went to lunch with D's family at a yummy Chinese restaurant. Back home we all took naps! I woke up at 5 to D asking if I was going to sleep all day. *Go ahead....dare me!*

Adoption update:
We are done with INS but still waiting on Rwanda. Nothing all that new.

Tuesday I'm going to take the kids and head over to NW AR to see friends for a few days. I think getting out of town will do us all some good.

Much love to you all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Happy Place

I've added the lovely picture above so that I can stare at the beach and go to my happy place. It's funny, if you search "paradise" on photobucket the majority of the pictures are of tropical destinations. What is it about the beach that is universally considered utopia? There were a few pictures of football stadiums (narrow minded men!) And some of drinks with umbrellas in them, but mostly they involved blue water and palm trees.

It's nice to have a place to take a mental vacation during this stressful time in our lives.

Here's the update:

Still do not have the letter from Rwanda signed. We are on our second "come back Friday". Totally normal for them, totally unacceptable by American standards. I went to INS yesterday and found some mistakes on our paperwork that THANK THE LORD the woman who was in charge of our file caught with me sitting right there and fixed. If we hadn't talked about it we would have been stuck in Africa for a while. Whew! Looks like they will be wiring our I171-H to Nairobi on or about Aug. 6Th. There is an end in sight! We might be able to travel middle of Aug. but just to keep my hopes really low, I'm sort of planning it for the end of Aug or 2009, ya know whatever.

Today I am washing baby bedding, more baby clothes and all the other gear that has been in our garage getting a lovely coat of red dust. Thank you Oklahoma wind. I have one more curtain to hang in the kitchen, one more side to sew on the matching pillow and then the sewing machine will go back in the closet and the scrapbooking stuff will come out. I'm planning on making prayer journals for the girls in Rwanda who have been helping us. I might make some for the Nun's also. How do you say "prayer journal" in French? Anyone...Bueller...Bueller....

Please keep praying for the process and all the hands involved. And for Ethan to be healthy and transition easily into our family. I'm sure ready to see his sweet face.

The kids are napping and D is in Tulsa today so I'd better hurry and put holes in the wall before he gets home.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Up Down Up Down

It has been a roller coaster day in adoption land. First we get a call from Heather in INS and she tells us stuff is missing from our home study DOWN DOWN DOWN....then she tells me if we get it to her by Tues. then she will have it done by Wed. and our letter in the mail Thurs. UP UP UP! That letter is the last thing we need from our government to leave and get Ethan!

But we still have not heard if we have Rwandan approval...DOWN DOWN DOWN....and even if we do have approval the people who are helping us are busy so they may not be able to help us for another couple of weeks...BIG DOWN. So I spent the day in a weird funk. We still don't have a date to travel, or a baby for that matter. It's all very frustrating.

What I do have is the steadfast love of the Lord, who never leaves me. He knows my sadness and is already in control of my future. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this was God's idea in the first place. D and I were not sitting around pining for more children. He placed this burden on our hearts and has made it clear that His plans never fail if we just keep following. So even though I may feel like I am in the valley, I have no fear. Even though I have pain in my heart, I have an everlasting hope. This will happen, Ethan will come home, I will be a mommy of 3.

All in your time Lord. I will wait and be a light to those around me. Thank you Lord for loving me through my doubt and never letting go!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Nothing

No news. Blah. I don't know how people do this with out knowing the Lord. He is the only thing that keeps me sane right now.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Some News

We heard today that our dossier is on the Ministers desk waiting on a signature. That means that we are approved! Hopefully they will sign it today and they will pick it up tomorrow! I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday Night

What a great dinner we had with some very sweet new friends. They are also in this crazy adoption process and are planning on bringing home two babies later this year. They are the most up-beat, positive and truly kind people you will ever meet and their excitement is contagious. That is just what D and I needed! I think we get so wrapped up in the time line and paperwork and logistics of the whole thing that we forget to be excited for our new boy.

Yippee! We're having a boy!! And I think we even settled on a middle name, but I'm not telling yet!

It is so great that we are not on this journey alone. I can't wait until we are all chasing after our new babies together! (Thank goodness that we have older kids to help this time!)

We are hoping to hear Friday that we have approval and that they will be identifying Ethan! Please keep praying for him. We feel an emptiness around the house that he is not here. I'm ready for a face to put with a name.

One last thing.....I stole this off of a friends blog....it's amazing.





Kisses in the wind

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kissing in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.
--- Unknown Author


Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not hold them
back."
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
--- Isaiah 43:5-6

Tuesday

Our paperwork was not ready yesterday. They said to come back Friday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday

No news today. Here's hoping for a newsworthy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Slightly Emotional

This week has been a wild ride on the adoption front. The friends that have been working on adopting from Rwanda also, received pictures of their new boys. Nate and Zack are just a sweet as can be! They are both 6 mos. old and they passed all the blood test, so the family will be leaving on the 21st to go get them.

It is such a happy time and we are excited for them. What we did not expect was the overwhelming sadness for us. Then you are mad at yourself for feeling sad, so now I'm wrapped up in sad, mad and frustrated that our process is taking longer. That can be a bad combination. And if I hear one more well meaning person say "At least the other family got their boys", I'm going to scream. What are we chopped liver?

Here is what I have learned in this very hard, emotional week. If this is how my sweet SIL felt for the 5 years that we were able to have 2 children and she was not, no wonder a phone was broken against a wall. I had no idea the pain could permeate every cell of your body and I have only dealt with it for a week. I feel like I owe her an apology for not being more understanding. I will also never again try to throw in some sugary feel good statement like "Don't worry, it will all work out", or "In God's time". No one loves the Lord more than me, but during these times saying nothing is so much better than trying to fix it in a 5 second conversation. I'd rather someone just say "That sucks" and give me a hug.

We have been told that Monday morning our missionary friends are going back to the Ministry and hopefully our letter will be ready and we will identify our son this week. We also know that you have to translate everything into Africa time, so one day usually equals 4. We are still waiting on INS, but once we have our approval letter from Rwanda we have a senator's office ready to call INS and hurry thing up. I am still praying that we will be home before school starts.

Friends who have been at this exact spot during an adoption assure me that it is worth it and we won't hardly remember all the waiting. I trust them and know they are right. But tonight it sucks, and I need a hug....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prep Work

While we are waiting to hear from Rwanda and INS we are prepping the house for baby Ethan. Today we washed a box full of fun baby toys. Out with the old drool and ready for the new! I had lot of help washing and some Barbie's got a bath too!

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Summer is getting long and the kids are tired of looking at each other, but only 5 more weeks till school starts! WOOHOO!! not that I'm counting

Friday, July 6, 2007

Waiting Waiting Waiting

That is the word for today. Waiting. We are waiting today to find out if we have approval from Rwanda. We have talked to one of our senators and they will make a call to INS on our behalf, but they are waiting on us to tell them we have Rwandan approval.

Once we have approval we will still be waiting for the INS to give us the green light to identify an orphan.

Hurry up and wait seems to be the most common phrase with this adoption. But I also had to wait 40 weeks to see the babies I carried, so with all babies there is time to wait.

(If I was good at waiting we wouldn't have invented "Pre-Christmas Christmas".)

Here is something cool that dawned on me. Davis was born in Jan of 2001, so his bday is 01-26-01. Paige was born March of 03, so her bday is 03-07-03. If Ethan is born this month his bday will be 07-??-07. How cool is that??

We are still very hopeful that we will be leaving to pick him up the last week of this month.

While we are waiting I have been getting school clothes bought for D & P, school supplies ready to go, and buying things for the trip and shoving them under my bed. Hopefully when we get the letter from INS we will only have 2 weeks before we fly out and I don't want to spend the 2 weeks freaking out. I'd much rather spend quality time with the kids and be relaxed.

Speaking of waiting, the dryer just quit so I'd better go swap laundry.

Much love!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Good News!

You can tell by the dates on the blog that if we have been in a slump of bad news I don't type much. I don't want to bog anyone down with depressing typing.

But today I received good news, so here I am!

On a phone call from my preacher's wife she informed me that our missionary friends in Rwanda met with the sisters at the orphanage and after much discussion the have agreed to let us adopt infants! This is a huge blessing in so many ways. The sisters really wanted us to adopt babies 1 year or older because they have so many (around 40) but we had our hearts set on bonding with a younger child. They have around 20 babies that are 6 months old or younger and that is the group that our friends will choose from.

Praise the Lord! With all this rain I was feeling a little down and needed a pick-me-up.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blessings pour down

Today the blessings poured down and filled up my van! A very generous friend has passes down more baby stuff than I have seen in a while! She is amazing, her generosity is amazing and not having to freak out every time I walk through the baby department is...you guessed it...amazing!

Car seat---Check
Bouncy seat--Check
Stroller--Check
Clothes--Check
Thingy that keeps them away from basket cooties at Wal-Mart--Check
Bottles, binkeys, sippy cups and stuff to dry them on--Check
Toys--Check
Bed--Check
Changing Table & pad--Check
Swing--Check
Johnny Jump Up--Check
Diaper bags, sling, and boxes of things that will save me money for months--CHECK!

Baby--Well....hopefully soon!

I hope this person understands that I would love her even if she gave me nothing but a smile. She rocks!

Having all of this stuff is starting to make it seem real, but honestly, I'm not ready to go there in my heart yet.

Oh, more good stuff!!

Some of you have heard me talk about this awesome 9 year old girl who has been sweeping porches to help us raise money. Well, I met her today and she is so sweet you could just eat her up! Her and her sister and I think some friends around the neighborhood have been washing cars, re-filling runners water bottles, and selling rocks (that's what her 4 year old sis told me!). Today she presented me with $48! How awesome is that?! I am moved beyond words. What a truly special and heartfelt gesture, and from a 9 year old! She is a blessing and I pray that God blesses her richly.

Night!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday June 18

The word of the day is HARD. Adoption is HARD. That word keeps popping up today in different conversations. It's no wonder people don't do this more often. Here is a brief rundown of where we are in the process:

Friday we went in for our last set of fingerprints at INS. Yes, this is the same stuff that DHS did, but you have to do them again. So we are anywhere from 30-60 days from getting the piece of paper that says we can identify our child.

Today we went in got our 2nd set of shots. We should be cootie free for the rest of our lives!

We also found out that there is a letter we are suppose to have that we don't have and blah blah blah....so the emails get started and begging continues. Hopefully this will be fixed quickly and will be no biggie.

Fundraising has been slightly disappointing, but we have complete faith that God will provide.

Waiting is Hard, paper work is Hard, being emotionally stressed all the time is Hard, not knowing is Hard. But I have a bigger fear of standing before Jesus and telling him I quit because it was too hard; and then him holding out his hands. This is nothing compared to what he did for me. I will keep on keepin' on as my mama always says.

Thanks to those of you who are praying for us. Please don't stop.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

June 5th

Ahhh...peace and quiet. Nothing quite like a Disney movie to turn the kids into zombies for 90minutes! Between Happy Feet and my hubby being out of town it's almost blissful! Not that I don't love my sweet husband, but dang, how much togetherness can one couple take? I know even as witty and beautiful as I am, I can get a little abrasive after a while. No one told me how much of an adjustment having him home every day was going to be. It leaves something to be desired and retirement scares the poop out of me.

On the upside, I am so spoiled with my built in babysitter and freedom to run to Wal-Mart sans kids that if he ever goes back to a "real" job....I'm doomed.

Paige asked the other day "daddy, where do you work?" He said "Wal-Mart". She said "No daddy, you shop at Wal-Mart, you can't work there!". That girl cracks me up.

On the adoption front, we are just waiting for our fingerprints at INS. They are scheduled for the 15th of June. This is our last step! After we pass the test we have already taken (fingerprints) they will give us a form that allows us to identify an orphan. At that point we will contact our missionary friends in Rwanda and they will head over to the Home of Hope and pick out Ethan!

Please be in prayer for the birth mother and the safety of Ethan. My prayer is that he has no trauma before he gets to the Home of Hope. That he is not left on the streets or left anywhere for several days, but that he is immediately taken to the orphanage and taken care of. I pray that he is emotionally and physically cared for and maybe even favored by the nuns until I can get there. Please pray for him.

I'm off to go snuggle with the kiddos. When daddy is away we all sleep together!
Much love!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May the Force be with you

This morning during our family prayer Davis was praying for all of us, then started praying for bad guys. Here's how it went:

D~ "God, please force the bad guys to be good."

I know my boy well enough to understand what he means. He's not talking about supernaturally forcing the bad guys, he's talking about Star Wars "Forcing" the bad guys.

It was all I could do not to snicker during the prayer.

Davis has been deep in thought lately about God, heaven and what happens when we die. He asked me last night if I saw my grandma die. I said no. Then he asked if I touched her body when she was dead. I said yes. He thought for a moment, started to cry, then said, "If you and daddy die, will I get a new mommy and daddy." That made my heart hurt, but I told him to the best of my ability about how if daddy or I die that we will wait for him and his sister at the gates of heaven and that we will be the second person to hug him after Jesus. I told him how important it was for him to go to heaven. And I told him that if anything happened to me or daddy that grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins would be around to help take care of him.

When he starts talking like this I want to tell him to go to sleep and leave the room, but I know he is looking for answers and I don't want him to make stuff up on his own. So through my tears we talked quite a bit.

He got quiet for a few seconds and I thought the grueling conversation was about over. Then he said, "Will people see me when the angels take me to heaven?" I told him no, that only our souls go to heaven. He thought about that then looked at me and asked in a breathy exclamation, "So, I'll be invisible? YES!!"

Yes, my sweet 6 year old boy, we will be invisible.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday, May 27th

Today was so weird. I stayed up late on Saturday night to finish our dossier and this morning I handed it over to a friend from church who is going with her family to Rwanda for the summer. These documents that I have worried over, run all over town for, and waited on to be sent to me, are now out of my hands.

It's surreal to feel so exposed to people you have never met. Our entire lives are in that folder. Everything from our blood pressure to our driving record. Please pray that these papers will find favor in the eyes of whomever reads them. And that they will be protected along with the sweet people who are transporting them.

I've cried off and on all day. It's out of my hands now, but it has truly been out of my hands since the beginning. God is in control and I have the utmost faith in Him and His plan for our lives.

Please pray for our journey and all that it entails. We have had some disappointments this week and are feeling a little low.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Best Medicine


My husband is a goober...do I hear an AMEN? But that is one of my favorite things about him. He's funny to a fault. All day yesterday we were cracking each other up and I realized that anyone looking in would have no idea what we are talking about. Our vocabulary is full of nonsence words that can double us over. ~Strategery~ being one of them. Granted most of the words are not our own but stolen from years of SNL, Mad TV and Jim Carrey movies..."I likey do tha cha cha."

And maybe that was my initial attraction to him because my own family is full of movie one liners "Evening vear, verdy nice" that can take us back 20 years or more and no one thinks they are as funny as we do. Nothings better than being in a dressing room with my mom and her knocking on the door then hearing..."Candy gram"...another knock..."pizza"...another knock..."LAND SHARK."

I digress. Back to my funny husband. He's awesome, what more can I say?! I hope everyone has a common thread of humor in their relationships. I mean look at the back of a baboon hiney and tell me God doesn't have a since of humor.

Sweet hubby if you are reading this, you are my strategery supa dizzle and I mad love you yo! Snap London Bridge.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday, May 22

We were dealt a bit of a blow today about the adoption. Nothing life shattering, but a delay on our time line. Without going into much detail we found out today that it will take 45-60 days to complete the INS portion and that time does not start until after our fingerprints go through and we are not scheduled to get our fingerprints until June 15th. So it does not look like we will be going early July.

Our biggest reason for wanting to be back by the end of July was to be here for the kids first day of school. Now if we are gone in August my In-Laws will have to deal with all the first weeks of school paperwork and the shuttling them back and forth at 2 different times. It's just more work than we wanted to burden them with. And as a mom, I feel like it is my job and joy to do it. I don't want to miss out on Paige's first days of school or D's first weeks of full time 1st grade. It hurts me that I can't have my cake and eat it too.

I sound very whiny and I'm sorry. We did have some good news today. We met with a woman from the Oklahoman News Paper and she is doing an article on the 4 families from Quail. Hopefully it will run soon and will be good advertising for my benefit crop on June 2nd. The reporter was very nice and wants to do a follow up when we get home.

American Idol is on in 5 minutes, so I'd better get the popcorn ready! LY!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Paige, Sweet, Sweet, Paige

Last week Paige comes into the kitchen with a pink Barbie cell phone in one hand and her pink sparkly purse in the other. Here is the converstaion we had...

Paige: matter-of-factly "Mom, I'm leaving."

Me: "Where are you going?"

P: "I'm leaving to go dance."

M: "Oh, really. At the studio where you took Ballet?"

P: "No. Hollywood."

The child is now officially grounded from Dancing With the Stars and American Idol.

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Monday, May 14th

A friend called and thought talking to a local paper was a great idea for some advertising for my crop in June. Thought I would post the email here for anyone who might not know what is going on in our lives! HA!

Hi Steve,

I'm Melissa Osborn, we spoke on the phone about our family adopting from Rwanda. Here is a little bit of the story.

On March 11, 2007 our preacher Mark Henderson stood in the pulpit of the Quail Springs Church of Christ and gave a summary of their recent trip to visit our missionaries in Kigali, Rwanda. They spoke of an orphanage in Kigali with 46 babies in one room wearing rags as diapers and the 6 sweet nuns who were trying to care for them along with all the other children in the Home of Hope orphanage. Our preacher said he tried to rationally find a way to help them with things, but all these children needed were families. My husband and I agreed, and so did 2 other families. So our four families have been working with the US government to adopt a total of 7 babies from this orphanage by the end of this year.

Our preacher Mark, his wife Sharon, my husband Dave and I are trying to get to Rwanda in early July. The other 2 families are looking at going over in the Fall. We all already have children, some biological and some adopted. We were not looking to increase our families, but feel called to help raise these children with a chance for life. Since the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 where 1 million people were slaughtered, the country has been trying to rebuild. But the number of orphaned children is staggering. We know that we can not save the whole country, but if we can make a difference to one or two children....well, we just have to try.

Each family has been fund raising to buy the costly plane tickets, cover government fees, and lodging while we are over there. We had a yard sale, we've been selling on ebay, offering to do extra work for people, whatever it takes. We have 2 more fund raisers planned. One is an all day Scrapbooking event being held at the Church building on June 2ND. It will be from 7am-7pm and the cost is $30. Another is a child field day on Sat. June 9Th.

The ROC foundation (Rwandan Outreach and Community)is helping us by providing a place for tax deductable donations to be made in our name. Mike O'Neil from OC is on the board.

I guess the biggest story would be the growing Trans-racial community that we are bringing to Edmond and the metro. People are going to see us all over town and we would like them to be educated about who we are and why our families look the way they do. We keep calling our selves "The New Normal".

If you think this is a story and would like more information all the families are open to talking. We are excited and chatty...you have been warned!!

Thanks for your time!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bum, Bum, Bum Another one Bites the Dust....

Another step in the adoption process is behind us! We recieved notice that our fingerprints were done at DHS and now we have sent our paperwork to INS!! Today I am mailing our noterized documents to the Rwandan Embassy in DC so that they can charge us an arm and a leg to put another stamp on them. MAN, ADOPTION IS EXPENSIVE!! But worth it!!

Speaking of $$. We spent $540 yesterday to get shot in the arm 7 times a piece. The woman at the health department was a ton of fun and had us laughing through the tears. Our arms are sore, but our hearts are happy. We go back in 30 days to get the boosters. I feel like I could eat off the McDonalds floor and not get sick with this much medication in my body!


Gotta go take kids to school. I even have Davis' friend Taydin this morning. It's good training for having 3 kids in the house! WILD!

Monday, May 7, 2007

All Yard Sale All The Time

The blog was quiet last week due to the mother of all yard sales going on. The Henderson's and I asked the church family for donations and man did they deliver. We had so much stuff donated that Sharon's 3 car garage was busting at the seams all three days.

I was over at her house Monday, and Tuesday all day, then Wed. am we were looking around and I told her that we just had to open the doors tomorrow for shoppers because we didn't have any extra space to put all the donations that were in her house. We made the newspaper deadline with minutes to spare and our signs went in the ground later that evening. The weather was fun to work around! All in the same day we had cold/rain/cloudy & cool/blazing sun & heat/more rain...We were constantly running around with plastic tarps trying to cover everything, then slathering sunscreen on our faces. Weird.

What's amazing was the outpouring of support from the church family and friends. People showed up to help, showed up with stuff, showed up to shop. At one point we were looking at a pile of garbage bags filled with clothes trying to figure out a way to go though them when the phone rang and our sweet friend Pam was at the other end asking if there was something she could come help with! God filled our needs before we could even verbalize them, over and over.

Another God thing was the amount of families who showed up with adopted children. We had some signs up around the garage letting people know what we were doing and they would come hug us and let us hug the kids. With open eyes you can see adoption everywhere. I believe it was God allowing us to interact with these people who have been on the waiting end just where we are, but are now squeezing these precious babies & toddlers.

I have a huge pile of items to list on Ebay this week. There were several times that I would put $3 on an item, but start to second guess myself, one of these items was a pair of Z-Coil shoes. So I took them inside and checked it on ebay and they are selling for $80 a pair...for used shoes!! Freak Out! So there is more money to be made this week!

Speaking of money, I guess you want to know how much we made....did I tell you we were on the news? Channel 4 and 9 came out and interviewed us, OK, so the final count on money was...did I tell you we have enough stuff left over to have another one?? Ooops sorry, I forgot I was about to tell you....$4,500.00!!!!! Have you ever heard of a yard sale raking in that kind of dough? It's a total God thing!

I'm off to take Davis for a hair cut, but I will fill you in on the rest later!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Timmy

Lately I have been struck by just how old Davis is getting. Tuesday he came to me and said he thought he had lost a tooth, really what he was feeling were 2 new ADULT teeth coming in! Adult teeth! Does that mean that next time he asks for a new video game I can tell him to get a job?

So one thing builds upon another, and don't get me wrong, I try very hard to make sure he can grow up to be an independent man. I even bought jelly in a plastic jar so that he could start making his own PB&J's, I encourage independence! But this morning I lost my morning goodbye to....Timmy.

In the van this morning we pull up to the spot where I drop D off and our usual routine is this:

Mom: I love you sweetie!
Davis: I love you too mom! (Then he leans over and gives me a hug and a kiss)
Mom: Don't forget your sister.
Davis: *whine* I hugged her yesterday...ok...bye Paige.

Then with the the sun shining, angels singing, and fairy dust falling, he turns, *dramatic pause* gives me a big smile and walks into the school building ready for another day of learning!

OK, it's something like that, but today was different. We pull up the the drop off point, he sees Timmy, yells for Timmy, then runs off to meet Timmy at the door. No hug. No kiss. No fairy dust. I lost to Timmy.

Honestly, I love the boy he is growing into and I am proud of him, this same child that would cry the whole 4 hours of Mothers-Day-Out, for going out and making friends and knowing that I will be there to pick him up at the end of the day.

In a way he is weaning me a little more every day. But as long as he is still wearing Spider-Man underwear, he is still my little boy. ~they don't sell those in a 34 do they?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 19th

Let's just start off by saying, God is good all the time and All the time God is good! Now, to really get the full effect of that you have to say it the Lynn Stringfellow way! If you don't know Lynn, you should call the Bay Area Church of Christ and ask Lynn "who is good?". Not that he is my puppet,(there is always the chance he will say, ME!) but he is pretty reliable! ;)

We have GOOD and BAD:

GOOD It looks like our concert is a go! Every prayer prayed has been answered in record time! We prayed for money to put on the show and a brother at church has offered to underwrite the concert. We prayed for Jami Smith and Charlie Hall to come on board to preform, and they have both offered to play at no cost to us! Now we are praying for people to show up, and for businesses to say yes when I come in asking for donations for the silent auction. We want this night to raise awareness of the rebuilding work Rwanda is doing and the need for good homes for the orphans.

BAD We thought the FBI background check would take 3-4 weeks, but we learned that it is more like 4-6 weeks. We are in week 4 right now, so we are praying that it shows up soon. We need to have that check done before we can turn in our paperwork to INS. What doesn't make any sense is that we are waiting for the FBI to finish our *fingerprint background check* so that we can give the results to INS so that they can schedule us for a FINGERPRINT BACKGROUND CHECK. Ugh.

Good We are getting ready for a HUGE yard sale and people have been donating stuff for us to sell!

BAD Plane tickets are expensive!! Anyone have a private jet they could loan us to fly to Africa? Anyone?

Good My mom will be here on Saturday! She is coming for my birthday the big 2-9!! Most times that would have gone in the "bad" section, but I am excited to see what this year holds for me!

Thanks for all the prayers you are saying for our family. Please keep our birth mother, her safety and health in your prayers.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

So, last night before bed I tell my sweet, excited kids "do not get out of bed or else you will scare the Easter bunny away". Normal mom stuff, right? Fast forward to 4:00 a.m. and I hear a noise next to my bed, so I reach out my hand...right as Paige projectile barfs all over my arm. Dave jumps out of bed, grabs towels and we try to wake up enough to figure out what just happened and why the dog is eating off the carpet. She throws up 2-3 more times then catches her breath long enough to look up at me and say "mom, I ran really fast in here so don't worry I didn't scare the bunny." then she barfed some more.

There goes my mom of the year award again this year. Dang.

Happy Easter to you!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Sat. April 7th

Good Morning! The snow finally stopped and the sun is out! Yes, snow in April, in Oklahoma, weird. It is freezing outside and Easter is tomorrow...hope the bunny brings a jacket.

Davis had an egg hunt at school yesterday...in the snow...and we have two hunts tomorrow. One at church and one at the park up the street.

We are already drowning in plastic eggs! This years eggs, last years eggs, who came up with this horrid idea anyhow?! I guess it beats that ~nasty 2 weeks after Easter stench~ we would have at my Grandmas house when a real egg was hidden too well! Nothing says spring like the smell of rotten, brightly colored, eggs.

I still need to go get a video game for D's basket. The EB is bringing P a new baby Cabbage Patch Doll. Due to all the plastic eggs in the house I think I am going to tell the kids that they have to leave the empty eggs on the front porch and the EB will come fill them up and hide them! Brilliant, I know. HA! It keeps me from having to buy more "special bunny eggs". Ugh, I'm egged out.

Nothing big going on in the adoption world. The waiting game has begun. We hurry to fill out paperwork then we wait...hurry to get birth certificates ordered, then we wait...on and on it goes. No biggie, we still have work to do while we are waiting.

All in all, life is good here in windy Oklahoma. Hope life is good where you are too!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday, March 29th

Happy Birthday to my dad!!

Today is a pretty big day in adoption land. Our missinary friends had a meeting with the Minister of Family and Gender in Rwanda to talk about what we are wanting to do. We are anxiously awating an email from them to hear the news. The meeting has been postponed twice this week, so mostly I'm just hoping that they were able to meet.

We had our home study yesterday. Not near as scary as I thought it was going to be! She didn't check under the beds or anything....

OK as I'm typing a call came in and the meeting went GREAT!! Thank you Lord!! His timing is always perfect! We did find out another hoop we have to jump through, but it is not a big deal at all. Just some more paperwork, I can do that in my sleep!

Ya'll I can not describe this feeling, I guess it is mostly hopeful. I was running low on faith that we could actually pull this off. But, as usual, God knows just what we need and when we need it. When I look back at the past 10+ years and see all the ways God has prepared our lives for this adventure, I am reasured that He never leaves me and that His ways are true and right. I can see over an over where He has stepped in and changed my way of thinking or a direction I was going. He continues to grow me in His ways. I'm so thankful that He hasn't given up on me!!

And I am so thankful for all of you who are praying and supporting us. Prayer works!!

I'm off to Wal-Mart to buy dog food...life marches on!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Few Good Men

That's what I have in my life. We have been sick since Monday, but the kids seem a little better today. I, however, am sicker. UGH I took a shower thinking I would feel better, but it did the opposite and drained me, so I admitted defeat and called my father-in-law and asked him if he would bring us a cheese pizza from Sam's. (Our favorite!) Not only did he do that, but he added a HUGE container of pineapple! Dave is out of town, but called to say that he would come straight home tomorrow instead of stopping to see friends. So sweet. And my sweetest Davis has been taking care of me all day. He made me a glass of water, colored me a picture and has hugged me at least 100 times. He always knows just what I need! I am surrounded by Good Men. Thank you, Lord!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday, March 19th

We turned in our paperwork today! The process is official! Next Wed. is our 4-5 hour home study. I'm a little apprehensive, but nothing a google search won't help improve. I'm not sure yet if they are going to open all the cabinets and white glove it, or just hide in the corner and take notes as I parent. Both could be dangerous!!

The support from our friends is overwhelmingly awesome. I have had one friend in particular that eased many of the "I have no baby things" freak out session. She has volunteered to give me a shower, and has offered a ton of her own hand-me-downs. What an angel she is!

A shower, it hadn't even crossed my mind. This is so different than either of my other kids. I couldn't care less about baby themes, matching furniture, or $60 diaper bags. Diapers are more than the orphans have right now. I love the clarity of this! I wish I had this with both kids.

Dave is out of town for a few days and I was really looking forward to some fun alone time with the kids, but we all woke up with fevers. So, out came the bed in the couch, popcorn and movies. Not a great way to start Spring Break! But anytime spent snuggling with the kids is a good time!!

Thanks for following another day. Hopefully we will have something exciting to report soon.

I loved this quote I found!

One of my favorite remarks on adoption comes from the writer Sallie Tisdale. She, like many international adoptive parents, copes with people pretending to find her marvelous. "Oh, you've saved these children," people say to me."How grand." "How noble." "You're really so good."

But adoption is not about doing good works. For that, we have volunteer assignments, we have charitable giving. If doing good deeds is what you're after, no trained adoption professional on earth will process your paperwork.

Sallie Tisdale writes: "Adoption is not rescue, not exactly, and yet I saved the lives of these children. Writing that, I feel no sense of nobility or virtue, nothing lofty at all. I saved the lives of my own children, which is a selfish act. I saved them for myself."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sat. March 17th

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I copied the below text from a missionary's blog. It spoke volumes to me.




I’ve bitten my tongue for a long time about the urgency of the task, but do not believe I could be a faithful messenger of the Gospel and remain silent any longer. If you read old missionary letters or missions’ history the urgency of the missionary task has always been a core part of the missionary message. Unfortunately, in contemporary American Christianity urgency seems to no longer be a feel good topic. Instead, we frequently use pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo as a cop out as we longer attempt great things for God. When we don’t have enough courage to attempt historic endeavors we use the phrase “the will of God” to baptize our own failures of vision and action. I’m convinced it’s always God’s will to make disciples. We don’t wait for perfect timing, methods, or messengers. I’m also convinced there are seasons in history in which the Lord opens up opportunities that are truly out of the ordinary. There are seasons in which His spirit moves across a city, people, or nation; and prepares them for great receptivity. When His Spirit moves in such a way, the wise farmer heavily invests in such receptive soils. I’m convinced this is happening now in Rwanda, and it is time to respond.

I’ll only use one biblical story that has always terrified me to make my point. In Numbers 13 and 14, twelve spies were sent to spy out the Promised Land. They returned unanimously convinced that the land was one of abundance. However, only two believed the Lord’s strength was sufficient to take the land. Ten of those who were gifted leaders chose to lead the people in doubt, fear, and rebellion. As a result an entire generation was set aside. Forty years later, a new generation would arise to take the land. The text is clear that it was God’s will for the Promised Land to be taken by the nation of Israel. However, the first generations lack of faith and courage became the deciding factor in what God would do with them.

Are there times today, in which God places before us an opportunity that requires faith and courage, and instead we complain, fear, and simple do not act? I’m convinced there are many. My great fear is that I’ll be one who is set aside until God rises up a generation who will follow him with their full heart.

My good friend Justin Rudasingwa said similar words to me in November 2004 as he grew weary of American Christians who loved the idea of ministering in Rwanda, but would not commit to going – “The facts have been found. How many fact finding missions do we need? Who will come?”

Our family could escape our responsibility no longer, and chose to come to Rwanda in June 2005. We have been amazed at what we have seen. The opportunities are amazing and we ask for others to now partner with us in this great endeavor for God. The task is urgent. I don’t believe the historic tragedies of Rwanda were God’s will. Instead they indict our failures to be God’s people

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday March 16th

UGh! After reading my post I feel like I must apologize. I am not an English Major, and I am usually doing really well to get my own name spelled right! So I am sorry if sentences sound funny, or don't make a bit of sense! So please bear with me and know that most of these post are written very late at night!

Let's see...update on today...we have almost all of our paperwork ready to be turned in. Monday is our personal dead line. We still have not told the kids yet, so if you see us in person, please talk in code!! My kids are very literal, so if we tell them we are adopting a baby, they would expect me to have the baby today! Once we get all of our paperwork finished and a little farther down the road we will tell them everything. It's funny because we have been praying as a family for Mark and Sharon who are adopting also, and Davis told Dave last night, "I think mom wants one of those babies.". I love that boy!! Does he know me or what?

Life is still going on as usual for us. Davis has T-Ball practice tonight and then they both have practice Sat. am. I'm still working p/t about 2 days a week. Dave's job is going great and we are, finally, figuring out this whole working-from-home thing.

Much love to you all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wed. March 14th.

Today was an amazing day of God moments that continue to prove that our decision is the right one.

I started out the morning at my usual Wed. am bible study. We are doing a series by Beth Moore on the fruit of the spirit. In our video session she began talking about her adoption and the impact it had on her children. With tears streaming down my face, I thanked God for his amazing timing. We were suppose to watch that session 2 weeks ago, but due to the weather we were delayed. Perfect Timing!

After the bible study we had a luncheon and at my table I was talking about the adoption to a few friends. Some ladies behind us were also chatting about it and I told them my story. These loving women assured me that we were doing the right thing and that they would be praying for us. The question of money came up and I told them that we were not sure how much it was going to cost yet, but we are figuring about $10,000. In the adoption world that is a drop in the bucket, but in our one income family that is a HUGE stretch. Several of them said they would be willing to help us financially because they were "too old" to adopt. (age is just a number!) My heart was warmed! What generosity and faith they have! I am so thankful to be in a church family that would support a "new" family. (We just placed membership with Quail in Aug. of 06, but have been members of the Church of Christ forever!)


I can't thank you enough for partnering with us in prayer and helping us to bring our child home. I can't wait to tell him the story of his adoption and all the hearts that were involved in getting him here to us.

The emotional craziness of God laying this adoption on our hearts is fading, but the peaceful feeling of my child being in Rwanda is very real. I do not feel panicked, or desperate. Just driven to get things done in a timely fashion.

Thanks you again for your prayers and for taking the time to read this long post. Please keep praying for God's wisdom over our lives.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday March 13th.

Today we met with Mark and Sharon at Bennigan's to talk about the adoption process and where to start. The meeting was wonderful and I think both Dave and I are going to be very attached to them when all of this is said and done. We are truly blessed to be sharing this time with them.

Mostly we talked about paperwork and flight plans. We got some direction and the name of an agency that handles adoption. After lunch we headed over to the agency and picked up paperwork and talked a little about time and money. We have to start with some background checks and fingerprinting and go from there.

Dave and I are still very sure about this. It's not very often that he and I are driven in the same direction! But we both know what was layed on our hearts.


Today my prayer is for the birth mother. Lord, bless her life and keep her healthy and strong. Give her a peace that her baby will be loved and cared for. Most of all give her the strength to get through the last few weeks or months of pregnancy. Lord, I have such a love for her. Thank you for her and her sacrifice. Amen

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday, March 12th

Well, we slept on it. And nothing has changed! We are even more determined to get the ball rolling. I'm listening to Dave-O tell his mom the reasons why we are doing this and with every word my heart fills with love for him.

I want to tell my parents and sisters so badly. But part of me is cautious because if for some reason it doesn't work I don't want them to hurt. The other part of me is scared stiff because to them I'm just the baby, the brat child. Who in the world am I to be taking this kind of leap?

So today will be the day to start the phone calls. I'm not fully sure of the questions I need to ask, but I do know I need a passport, so that is what I am going to start on today.

A baby, a baby in Rwanda. That is our hearts desire. Not because our beautiful children are not enough, but because we have more love to give! Since Paige was born I have known that I'm done birthing children, but I never felt like I was done being a mom. Only with God's blessing will this adventure begin and end. I have started praying now for protection and safety for us, for our child and for the whole process.