Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Bunny, A Bracelet, and Lots of Prayers

Okay, amazing how a bunny and a bracelet can make you feel better. Of course, it really wasn't either of those things, but the sweet sentiment behind them and the prayers that I have been feeling since my last post. Is Satan still after me? Well, of course. That's an ongoing battle, but I have felt the prayers of my friends and family and I'm sure people that I will never know and it has been very comforting. Please continue to pray as often as you think about it for us and Emma. I am still haunted with thoughts that I just can't get out of my head, but it has been better in the last 24 hours.

A friend of mine gave Emma this adorable bunny Friday night and also gave me a bracelet that came at just the right time. "with God, all things are possible" was the wording on the bracelet and boy was it ever the time to get that. God knows what he's doing and even in the little things, I'm reminded how much he loves me. So thank you Shelly, for the bunny, the bracelet, and above all, the prayers.

We went to a family reunion last night at Bo's aunt's house and everyone seemed to have a good time. The boys swam and enjoyed the antics of little cousins that aggravated them a lot. The funny thing is, usually it's Ashton who is the youngest and most aggravating, but last night he got his just reward. It was funny to watch! I felt like it was payback for all the times he annoys us in the pool. Last night he was on the receiving end:)

I am going to try to make a final decision on crib bedding today. I found the cutest bedding on Baby Age that I really liked called Clothes Line by Kids Line. Really cute and simple. I may actually make a final decision on something! Very impressive for me. I've also been looking at diaper bags at Etsy. Of course, I'm having a hard time deciding on that. There are just too many cute choices.

Bo is on vacation for the next 2 weeks. Of course, this week he will be so busy around the house that it won't feel much like a vacation. He was able to get a lot done in the basement yesterday. If we can ever get things cleaned out, then we can get a handle on the actual building project. After 20 years of marriage and 2 kids, you just end up with a lot of stuff and it seems to collect in the basement and the attic. We are also planning on taking Ashton to apply for his passport tomorrow and then we have to get our Hepatitis A vaccines this week. I am working tomorrow and then we have our other family reunion on the 3rd and 4th. A busy week, but it's just one step closer to getting little sister home.

I wasn't able to sleep very well and was up this morning at 4:30. I really like that time of morning when I'm the only one up and the house is quiet except for the hum of the dryer (constantly going). It was nice to spend some quiet time with my Bible and a cup of coffee. I think God really blesses those moments and I come away feeling refreshed. It's really my favorite time of the day.

Prayer requests for the week: Emma, that she is being loved and cared for and that she has no other health problems that we are not aware of. Bo, as he tries to get a lot done in the days he has off. Our family as a whole as we prepare our hearts for her and the changes that are ahead. Our paperwork issues! And above all, keep Satan away from our family and Don't allow those doubts to arise in my head!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Week of Weakness and What If's

Overall, this hasn't been a very good week. I feel like Satan has had my number all week and he has been hurling sharp arrows straight at me. I feel like my shield has been penetrated and I'm having a hard time getting it back over me. Does that make any sense? I've had a lot of "what if" thoughts this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about our little girl and I do believe that God handpicked her for our family, but I guess the weak human part of me has been asking a lot of questions this week. Will she be able to do this or that, will she be healthy, will she have any other health problems that we are not aware of and if she does, how do we handle it. Am I strong enough to parent a child with special needs, am I going to be able to do all that it takes to be the mom she needs? What if........ That seems to be theme of the week for me. But as I'm reminded and perhaps have forgotten this week, you either trust HIM or you don't. I think it's only natural to have questions, but I don't like the way I have felt this week and the questions seem like they are taking control of all of my thoughts. It's not a fun place to be and I covet your prayers that I might soon escape this slump that has gotten me down. Above all, pray for our Emma. I have seen a more recent picture of her in the orphanage and she looks so sad and I can't stand it. I just want this to be over with and get her home where we can deal with whatever is ahead of us. Pray that with God's help, I can be stronger than Satan's arrows. He is robbing me of my joy right now and I want it back.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Thursday again? Where has this week gone? We are almost back to "normal" with our bathroom situation. The tile is finished and we have to let our bathroom dry until tomorrow and the kids bathroom has sealant on it. Brady is having a hard time using the bathroom downstairs. That involves too much energy coming down the steps! Teenagers:)

Brady broke it to his bassoon teacher that he doesn't want to take lessons anymore. He just wants to take guitar lessons and that's fine with me. I think he is going to take a hiatus from lessons until October due to the busyness that is ahead. That also suits me fine. He hates to practice bassoon and he is obviously not going to be in a symphony someday!

I did manage to slip in a little nap today. I am working the next 2 nights and am hopeful for good nights ahead. One thing for sure about working in the ER, you never know what the night might bring, but you always pray for the best.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet and yahoo groups, I have seen another picture of our Emma. Poor little thing looks so sad. I am reading good things about the SWI that she is in. The nannies there seem to really care for the children, but of course, it's an orphanage and the children need moms and dads. I will be so glad to finally get this behind us and get her home. She looks like she needs a good dose of love and care and I know we are the ones that can give that to her. I really appreciate the person who gave me the lead on the picture!

Off to get ready for work. Day 11 and no PA. I'm betting next week, but it could happen tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cute pictures!

For some reason I can't post my pictures along with the previous post. Just another thing to drive me nuts:)

Wednesday - Why Can't Things Simple

Customer Service. Is that a thing of the past or what? For the last 2 days I have been trying to contact the Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Service. Has anyone answered the phone? Yes, a recorded voice of a man that says leave a message and they will contact me. Has that happened? Of course not. The reason that I am having to contact them is due partly to a mistake that I made when sending the fee to be fingerprinted again for the THIRD time since we started the adoption process. Of course, the last 2 times the fee was $140. That's what I sent this time and now the fee is $160. After realizing that I had made the mistake, I sent another $20 money order and of course on that same day I received the original money order and the paperwork back in the mail telling me that I needed to pay the right amount. So instead of some person calling me and inquiring about this, they just sent it all back to me. Now I guess I need to wait on the other money order to get sent back to me and then resend it all again. And I ask you, have our fingerprints changed in the last 2 1/2 years? What really irritates me is that my tax money is used to pay their salaries and nobody even bothers to call you back or correspond in any way. That drives me crazy.

Next customer service complaint. I had to make a trip to Springfield today for Ashton to have a follow up with the eye doctor. (Receptionist person, no comment.) Our plan was to make a quick trip to Walgreen's to have his passport picture taken. Of course, Walgreen's tells me it will be over an hour. But wait a minute, your sign says "wait free passport pictures". Never mind false advertising. Walgreen's graciously tells me that I can go to Walmart and they will do it because they have 4 printers and can get it done fast. Okay, trip to Walmart begins (everyone knows how I hate Walmart). Stop at the photo store in Walmart and after calling someone on the phone and getting the camera out, the helpful employee tells me it isn't working and they can't take the picture for me. I pointed out that perhaps she should take down the passport photo sign that is hanging in the entrance of the store. Next trip, CVS pharmacy. Nice lady, very helpful, computer doesn't work and it will be at least an hour before it's up again. I just smile and tell her never mind, tuck my tail and head for home, incredibly put out with the system. So now, I will attempt to get that done next week, along with the million other things on the list. And as my husband would say, "are you whining".

Our bathrooms are almost finished. The boy's bathroom is finished and the tile looks good. Hopefully ours will be finished tomorrow. It's amazing how it throws off your system to have to go to another bathroom to shower and dress.

I hadn't mentioned the boys camp experience with everything else that is going on. They had a blast and Ashton can't stop talking about it and how much he misses it and wants to go back. Almost to the point of driving me insane. Brady had a lot of fun too, but doesn't seem to be as enthralled as Ashton. When I picked them up on Friday they were tired and stinky. Ashton came home and crashed in my bed. I wanted to share his adorable face with everyone during his post camp nap. Not a pretty sight.

Camden spent a few hours with us yesterday while Brian and Melissa took Rory to the doctor. Camden and Ashton had a blast playing video games and hanging out. I took Brady to Sylvan and the boys and I had a couple of hours to waste. We went to TCBY for frozen yogurt and Camden was thrilled. He had a cone with gummy bears on it and was so cute eating. He got down to the last bite and looked at me so seriously and said "This is our little secret". I agreed, but of course I had to tell his mom. Too funny.

During our time kill while Brady was at Sylvan, we also went to the library. They were having some type of program for the little ones and there were kids everywhere. As I sat with Camden in the children's section of the library and looked around at all of these kids running wild and playing and laughing, I almost felt overwhelmed. Bo called during that time and I told him I wasn't sure if I was up to the toddler, preschool years again and he just laughed. I guess you just fall back into that routine. I hope so:)

It's day 10 waiting on our preapproval from China. I am hoping we hear something this week. Keep praying!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday - No Day of Rest Here

Well, I worked Friday and Saturday nights and I have to work again tonight. I have tried really hard to sleep today, but it has been one of those days when my brain just refuses to shut off and let me rest. All I can think about is how much we have to do in the next few weeks. The list just keeps growing and it's driving me crazy thinking about it. I'm trying to work as many extra shifts as possible because we certainly need the money, we have to have our stupid fingerprints done AGAIN, we have to refinish our basement, which means we have to be able to get to our basement. Bo and the boys worked yesterday cleaning it out and trying to purge some of the junk we have, but we still have too much stuff. We have to complete a nursery for little sister, which means I need to concentrate on how I want it decorated. I am no decorator. I don't like the pressure it makes me feel. I'm strictly cut and dry. I mean I have no curtains or pictures in my living room because I have been thinking about what I want ever since we had it painted. That was at least 4 years ago. Are you seeing a trend here? I am. I have to start thinking about the packing list for 4 people (if Ashton goes) to spend 2 weeks in China. Oops, make that 5, because I have to pack for little sister too. We have a family reunion on July 3-4 that I have to help plan things for as well as work the night of the 4th and then we are going on vacation the following week. Now that is what I'm looking forward to. A week at the beach with a good book or 2, which will probably be about toddler attachment and bonding. I feel guilty if I attempt to read anything else. Oh, and we are having tile put in both of our upstairs bathrooms this week. After 15 years at a house, the bathroom floors can become an issue. So you see, I'm having a little anxiety. I don't want to be too stressed about things because that only takes me away from enjoying the fact that I am finally getting my daughter. Oh, wait a minute, that has some stress involved with that too. I'm starting over again. I will be almost 41 by the time little sister gets here and that has some stress involved with that too! Well, that may be more about hormones that anything else:) I keep telling myself, age is just a number. Yeah, right:) So please pray for me as I try to concentrate on the important things right now, such as keeping my sanity and not driving my family and friends insane.

Adoption update: check out my friend Maria's blog and read her good news. It's looking like a happy ending after all! Keep them in your prayers as well.

Well, I have to cut it short. I have to drink a lot of coffee so I can be prepared for my 12 hour shift in the ER. Sunday nights can be challenging and after being there the last 2 nights, I tend to be a bit crabby. I fake it it well, but I'm still crabby.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Well, I have enjoyed being home today. My house is crazy and although I have not gotten a lot done today, I have managed to clean out Ashton's closet and get rid of things he has outgrown. I also went through the rest of Emma's things and separated them out and found more things that I'm sure she will never be able to wear. From her medical history, which is several months old, she is a chunk. I hope she will be able to wear some of the 12-18 months things that are so adorable, but I'm not sure. Oh well, those are just clothes. She has an abundance of 18-24 months as well. Poor child, nothing to to wear:)

I worked hard in the ER yesterday with this new cleaning project and I have to admit, they got their money's worth yesterday. I was exhausted last night. I actually slept in this morning and it felt so good. I think some of that inspired me to start doing some more cleaning around here. When I think about what all has to be done in the next couple of months it blows my mind. What were we thinking waiting so long to get these things done! Talk about denial. We work well under pressure and now we are in the pressure cooker. I don't even have a nursery theme. What kind of mother am I? When you have big boys in the house you just become numb to cute little girl things. I mean it's about picking up stinking socks and underwear, praying they will flush the toilet and please raise the seat! (I am referring to my sons, not necessarily my husband:) This is going to be an eye opener for us - me especially. I've been the only female around here for so long that I sometimes stop thinking like a girl and think like these goofy guys that I love so much. I can hold a conversation about sports, fishing, etc. as well as anyone. Now we have to think in terms of dolls, dresses, hair bows, tights, tea parties, etc. I may be out of my league:)

I love the group Casting Crowns. They are one of my many favorites Christian groups. On my drive into work yesterday I was listening to them and it was like I was hearing a song for the first time. I think the title is Caught in the Middle and in the chorus it talks about having deep water faith in the shallow end. For some reason (GOD) that just stuck in my mind and I have thought about it so much. I enjoy swimming in our pool, but I am not a great swimmer. The boys are wonderful and can swim like fish, but I never really had lessons enough to make me comfortable. When we are playing around in the pool, Ashton loves to jump on me while I am in in the deep end and he knows that I just panic. Of course, he can do it in the shallow end and I am fine. When I thought about that in terms of faith, it is so true. It's really easy to have faith as long as we are in the shallow end of the water. I can touch the bottom, so I'm not scared. Toss me into the deep end, and that is a different story. We can apply that to any area of our lives. When God asks us to step out of the shallow end and get the water over our heads, are we willing to do that? Do we question him and reason with him about how we are not able to touch the bottom and we would rather stay where we are comfortable? I know that I have been guilty of that and probably will again. Our Emma will have some obstacles to overcome and that means we will too. She is missing some of her toes and she is missing all of her fingers except her pinkie fingers. When I look at her hands, I wonder about the challenges she will face. I still think that she will adjust so well because she has never had 5 fingers on both hands, so if you don't know what that is like, that is your normal. I have been trying to use my pinkie fingers as I do some of my daily things and there are things that are really challenging to do. I can't do some of those things, but I've always had 5 fingers. So we may not know all of the things that are ahead of us, we never do, but we are willing to step into that deep end. God is my life preserver and he won't let us drown. He created our daughter the way she is for some reason and I look forward to seeing what this little gal is going to accomplish in her life. When I look into her eyes, I see a future that is wide open with a family that adores her already. So please pray for us as we continue to wait on bringing her home. We are excited about jumping in the deep end and eager to swim with God's direction.

As time goes by, there are so many other things I want to share in this blog. Things that have opened up my eyes to God in a way that I have never seen them before. It's amazing how God works when you just let him take control and you stop trying to be the one who directs everything.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday - Still Trying to Take it All in

I can't believe it's already Wednesday. With everything that has been going on over the last few days, this week is flying by. We are enjoying having some quiet time with the kids gone. I miss them, but I know they are having so much fun, that just makes it easier for me. I "worked" yesterday. I had been roped into attending some type of class regarding managing, running a lean ER, etc. It was basically a class to teach us to clean and consolidate our materials, space, etc. I saw it as an opportunity to get paid for cleaning. I get to do it again today. Now if someone would just pay me to clean my house, maybe I would be more enthusiastic about it.

I think everything is slowly starting to sink in. Our paperwork has been sent and now the next step is to wait for a pre-approval from China and then a referral acceptance. I am not sure of the time frame for all of this, but with the current trends, it could move relatively quickly since we have been waiting so long. There is no real knowing when it comes to this. We have to get our fingerprints renewed and I am waiting on that paperwork and we have to get Ashton's passport. I can't believe I didn't have that done already. I knew he would change his mind about traveling. Although he hasn't said it for sure, he is certainly leaning in that direction. Even though there will be some drawbacks to having both kids with us as well as a baby/toddler, I want them to experience it all. They have waited for 2 years and heard about adoption until they have probably wanted to scream and now that it's finally happening, I don't want either of them to miss out on it. I am certain it will be during school and I hate for them to miss 2 weeks of school, but what a field trip. I think 2 weeks in China will teach them more about life than sitting in a classroom. Now, will we ever get the work caught up, I don't know!

It was exciting to share our good news and her little face with my work family yesterday. They have shared our wait with us and it was wonderful to get to rejoice with them. I have been blessed to work at a small hospital where it really does feel like family. It's also such a joy to get to share how God has worked this out for us. Most of the people I was working with yesterday in this class I had never met before and don't know what their feelings are about God, but they certainly know mine. They probably didn't want to know, but it is one of those "shout it from the roof top moments" in our lives and I want to make sure everyone knows about how God has blessed us and answered prayers. I hope that I can use this, along with other areas in my life, to witness to people. You never know when you might strike a cord with someone and God will use that.

Well, it's off to clean and rearrange on the clock. Again, if Bo would pay me to clean our house it would just be much easier to do:) Thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

I think the title says it all. What a weekend. I finally got some sleep last night and it was much needed. Bo and I worked on paperwork until after midnight, but after speaking with our family coordinator at AWAA this morning, it seems everything was received and was in order. For those of you thinking, what is the rush from when you get the call, let me attempt to explain, although I'm not an expert. China has a shared referral system for children with "special needs" and when they put the referrals out there, there are many adoption agencies that have access to those referrals. It begins to be a rush in that you don't know what agency is contacting families regarding the babies on the list and our agency looks at those referrals and makes every attempt to match them with the families that are waiting based on what those families have specified that they are willing to consider. (For example, cleft lip/palate, heart problems, appendage deformity, etc.) We are blessed that we are with a Christian adoption agency that I firmly believe prayerfully considers each child and family. We know that when we got the call, they had looked at our list of things we would consider and then matched that accordingly. We feel very blessed to have them as our agency. If you look back on our history, you will find they are the only agency we called and after talking to them, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, they were the right ones for us. I still feel that way. So with all that said, they try to match these little ones to the perfect family for them (with much Godly advisement) and then make the call. After that, you have only a short period of time to decide and that's not something the agency is happy about, but it is out of their control. With us receiving a call at 12:30 on Friday afternoon, we had to contact doctors to have her paperwork reviewed. Okay, so not as easy as it might sound considering it was Friday afternoon. I have to give a huge shout out to Old Harding Pediatrics and the doctors that talked with me on Friday. The doctor that we planned on using was out of town and 2 other doctors called. Dr. Chris Smeltzer called me at 10 pm while I was at work and he had reviewed her paperwork on his on time and covered everything that he could based on what he was provided with. He was a God send! I also have to give a huge shout out to the Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic for the quick response that I received from them. They had limited staff due to doctors being on vacation, yet Dr. Alice Rothman e-mailed me, called me twice over the weekend and even consulted other doctors regarding our little one. Yes, there is a fee for that, but you can tell they do this out of a heart of love for children, ALL children. She was wonderful and even as late as last night was still e-mailing me with more information. I would highly recommend them to anyone. So from the time that you say yes to a referral, you have 48 hours to get all of that done and the paperwork into your agency. We met the deadline! I will make an attempt to explain the process more as we go along. This is really a learning experience for me also.

Okay, so this morning I have been a worthless slug while waiting to hear back from AWAA. I have done some laundry, made the bed and here it is almost noon and I am still sitting in my gown. (Not a pretty sight). I did manage to got through some little girl clothes in Ashton's closet and get out the things that will be too small for her. I see a big e-bay listing coming in the future. As Ashton put it Saturday while I was talking about how much sister weighs, "You see, I told you you shouldn't have spent a $1,000 on those clothes." Well, if you know me, you know that everything that I have bought for her was on clearance, but when you have no idea what size your child is going to be, you take a gamble when shopping. For anyone who needs some 6-9 month sizes of adorable little girl clothes with the tags still on them, you know how to contact me:)

My husband was an emotional wreck yesterday. Brother Bob, our pastor, had called him on Saturday night and asked him to give his testimony on Father's Day and talk about our journey. Well, if you know my husband and for those of you that don't, he's a baby. He cries at movies, he cries when he hears a song, he is just a baby (in a very sweet and tender way). He wrote up what he wanted to say because he knew he wouldn't be able to talk without some notes. Then he was crying so much he had a hard time reading his notes. Too funny. Brady was sitting next to me completely embarrassed as every 14 year old boy would be. I heard him tell Bo later that he had no idea his voice could reach those notes! I was beaming with pride. He is such a great dad and this little girl has already got him by the heart. He has always wanted a girl and now we are finally there. It's a feeling that I can't describe adequately. I told Bo yesterday that I feel like the weight of the world has been taken off our shoulders. The waiting has been so hard, and even though we know that by accepting a child with special needs, we are going to face some challenges, we feel such peace about it. When I look at her, I don't see challenges ahead, I see joy ahead. I see our daughter. As Melissa said to me Saturday, God doesn't make mistakes. He created our girl the way she is for a reason, and he knew when she was born (and before) that she would be our daughter. We are ready for the challenges, but we are more ready for the complete privilege to parent her just like we do the boys. From the beginning of this journey I have prayed that God would allow us to love her exactly like we do the boys and I think that God has allowed that and will continue to do so. When I think in terms of how many children that I have, I think 3. I have thought that for some time, but now that we have an adorable face to put with the dream, it just feels even more right.

Okay, the other really funny thing that I have forgotten to mention since we found out about her and saw her picture is her clothes. For those of you unaware, the Chinese bundle their babies up like the Micheline man. I mean layers of clothes! When Brady was looking at her picture, the first thing he noticed was that she had on University of Alabama pants. Okay, for a family of UT fans, that is an insult! But how fitting. I think that just goes along with that whole God having a sense of humor thing. Of all the clothes that she could be wearing in an orphanage half way around the world, she has on Alabama clothes. Those have got to go! And for all our friends that are Roll Tide fans, forget about it. She will be a Vols fan all the way.

Please continue to pray for our family and her. We are not sure when we will travel if this all goes through, but we have a lot of work to do before we get that far. She doesn't even have a room yet. We have just drug our feet waiting and now it's time to get on the stick. Also, please pray for the financial aspect of all of this. We are prepared, but due to the increased wait time, there have been additional costs due to paperwork that had to be renewed, etc. We are just average people with average jobs and raising our family, so this is a huge expense. We have not doubts that it will all work out though. God has provided from day one and he won't stop now.

Quick boys note, they are finally at church camp. We drove them all down yesterday and they were fired up. This is the week that they don't take a shower all week. I'm betting you! They have more fun at church camp than anything they do all summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day - What a Great Gift

Well, I'm still exhausted. I thought that having only had 4 hours of sleep in 2 days that I would just dissolve last night, but alas, I did not. I think I may have slept 3-4 hours. I kept looking at the clock and going over everything in my head. When Bo finally came to bed, he kept snoring and it drove me nuts! Obviously, he didn't have any problems. I'm glad one of us was able to shut it all off and get some sleep.

I still don't have time and am not sure if I'm allowed to share a lot about Emma. I know that we can't share her picture for some time yet. I can say that she was 15 months old on the day we got the call. That is quite young for a shared referral. Her special need will be a learning experience for all of us, however, I feel very comfortable with it. It will just involve her learning to do things with some limitations. However, considering the fact that she is our child, I don't see many limitations in the future. She will have 2 older brothers who will teach her many things!

Our next step is to get all of the necessary paperwork back to our agency by 10 in the morning. I have to write a "rehabilitation and nurture plan" that basically informs the CCAA of our desire to adopt this child and what our plan of care is for her. It has to include what our medical treatment will be, if we have insurance, a statement that we will love this child unconditionally regardless of her condition, and reasons why we are a good match for her. It involves more than that, but that is the overall summary. When Brady and I were talking about her yesterday and what her limitations might be he told me he wanted to teach her to shoot a gun. Well, before anyone gets to worked up, you have to understand we are from the south, everyone likes to hunt, and we look at guns differently than some folks. Brady told me he wanted to take her deer hunting. Well, considering her special need, that might be a stretch, but I couldn't help but crack up laughing. I asked Bo if he thought we should entitle our rehab / nurture plan the "Redneck Rehabilitation Plan of Care". Only a 14 year boy would come up with such a thought. He is so excited. He just keeps looking at her picture and saying "she's so cute".

Ashton has his own concerns. He and I talked yesterday about what he really thought about all of this and I think he was relatively honest with me. You have to understand Ashton to be able to really get it. He doesn't show emotion well. He hates to cry, he only says he's sorry if forced to do so, etc. These are not things that make me happy, but it's who he is. (that is a disclaimer for his future bride). From the beginning of our decision to adopt, he wasn't happy about it. He likes being the youngest and he told me that again yesterday. "I don't want to adopt no baby" were his exact words. The entire time we are discussing that, he is also saying, can I have a picture of her. I think he is really concerned about her special need and what that will involve for our family. I explained to him that I was very concerned also, but I think it will be just a minor thing in the long run. His other concern is that she looks like a boy to him and could I call China and tell them to quit cutting her hair. (I'll get right on that). I explained to him that they cut their hair to keep children from having lice while in the orphanage, etc. I think his overall concern is the fear of the unknown and I can relate to that. Ashton has not planned on traveling with us to China. He has stated from the beginning that he doesn't want to fly that far, so now, he's telling us we need to get him a passport and if I could give him about 2o of those "pills to help him sleep" (Benadryl -I swear), that he thinks he wants to go. Nothing like waiting to the last minute! Now I have to put a rush on getting him a passport. We have had mixed feeling about him going since the beginning, but now that it has taken 2 years to get here, I think it might be the best thing for him.

While I was waiting to download the information from AWAA on Friday, I prayed that God would give us the peace to know what the right decision was for our family. Understand, we have dial up and it takes forever to download things sometimes. So while I was waiting on our pictures and her history, I kept thinking about the Bring the Rain blog and her saying that God was the same God when she went in to the ultrasound room excited as he was when she came out of the room broken hearted. I also kept thinking about the the fact that you either trust him or you don't. While I waited, I picked up Bo's Bible and randomly turned to what was open. Psalms 20 and then to Proverbs 3. God directed me to both of those passages.

After working all night Friday night and praying and wondering and hoping and pleading with God to show me a sign to know what the right thing was to do, I left work yesterday morning in a state of pure bewilderment. I just felt so heavy and uncertain of the right thing to do. As I drove home, I was crying (I mean that ugly cry that you hope no one ever sees) and pleading with God to show me a sign. On the radio, 94 the Fish, the d.j. introduces the next song as Hands by Natalie Grant. Well, again, you don't know what Emma's special needs are, but suffice it to say, this song was perfect. The songs talks about being in better hands now and learning to stand. It was the perfect song and was followed up by Steven Curtis Chapman's song, I'm Diving In. Taking a leap of faith! I called Dede and left her a voice mail while I continued to cry and told her I think that I had my answer. She called back and said that when she listened to my voice mail she was crying and then when she heard the title of the first song, she couldn't stop laughing. It was my sign and may I just say, God has a very good sense of humor. So here we are. We are adopting our little girl/sister and just one week ago today, I had asked my friends to really pray about receiving a referral before the end of the month. Did I think God could do that, yes. Did I expect him to, probably not. Have I learned an amazing truth from all of this, certainly. God works on his time table. He is amazing and has certainly opened the eyes of a woman who has made many mistakes in her life and at times turned her back on God. But you see, I am adopted into his family and he loves me unconditionally. I have done nothing to deserve it and can never repay him for the sacrifice he made for me.

Well, I will share more about our bundle of joy as time allows and can't wait to post her picture. She is a dumpling and we couldn't be more proud. Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful dads out there. Bo has received the greatest gift ever this year. (I guess that means I can take mine back - I could use the money!:) Also, I know that my dadddy would be so excited about getting his first granddaughter. I suppose he already knows it and is smiling down on all of us.

Proverbs 3:5, 6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prayer - What Else Can I Say!!!!!!

Okay, this will have to be a brief post because I am suffering from pure exhaustion, adrenaline overload, brain freeze, you name it! We have gotten our call and we have accepted a shared referral! WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!! Well, we have to cross all the T's and dot all of the I's and get the paperwork done, but as far as we are concerned, she will be ours. I can't post any pictures yet and as soon as I'm allowed, I will put them on and let you see what a sweetie she is. She has a relatively extensive, but very doable special need that we fill like we can handle. I will share more of that later when I figure out what I'm allowed to share.

I worked Thursday night and got the call yesterday while I was trying to sleep. Needless to say, that was over with. I have had 4 hours sleep in 2 days, so I'm pretty worthless, but I just wanted to share our wonderful news with our blog family. God has answered our prayers, and has done so in a mighty big way. NEVER underestimate what He can do. I have certainly seen that in full form in the last 24 hours. We "cranked" up our praying last week asking him to provide us a referral before the end of this month and HELLO! I wasn't thinking end of the week, but that just goes to show you who is in control.

She is precious and we are slowly starting to fall even more in love with her. We are not blind to the fact that we will face some obstacles, and she has some difficult days ahead of her, but I know that God has it all under control. I have never been more sure of anything and have never had my faith reaffirmed more than I have in the last few hours. I can't wait to share it all with everyone. Truly, God is good All the time, ALL the time God is good. We covet your prayers for the days ahead while we work on paperwork, look at our financial situation and prepare our lives and home for our newest addition. Above all, pray for her as she waits for her new family to come and bring her home. We love her and are more than thankful for what God has done for our family.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday - I'm Seeing a Trend

I have spent my morning taking Ashton to the eye doctor to get contacts. I remember when I got mine 100 hundred years ago and unfortunately it appears he has my eyes. Poor kid! He tried so hard to put them in and managed to finally do it and then had to practice taking them out. He couldn't put them back in after that and his eyes were red and irritated. The lady that was helping (I mean if you can call someone who might have been 12 a lady) was really not much help. I finally decided that we would just master this at home and he was pretty proud of himself when he finally got them in. I remember getting mine at about the same age and my parents hovering over me while I tried to put them and getting so frustrated! I keep reassuring him that he will be able to do it without thinking really soon. I think he likes them and he's amazed at how clearly he can see now.

Our day has otherwise been pretty easy. Ryan spent the night last night so the boys have spent time swimming and playing Wii. What a life! Brady has promised 2 hours of bassoon practice tonight and I am holding him to his word. I think we had a small break through yesterday after Sylvan. He actually said he liked the teacher and he didn't complain all the way home. I'm sure that was a fluke, but I will take what I can get!

I have to work Thursday and Friday night. The boys are getting excited about church camp all next week. This will be the 3rd year they have gone and they love it. I remember being really worried the first time they went and hated that they didn't call home. My how the times have changed. I am as excited about them going as they are! I'm hoping to be able to get some things done around here and I hope that my sweet husband and I can go to dinner and a movie. That would be a nice treat.

Melissa and I walked again this morning. I'm pretty proud of us for making it 3 days in a row and we plan on walking again tomorrow. She was sharing with me some of the antics of her little darlings! They are so cute even when they are pushing every button you have. I'll try to remember that when Emma comes along.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm having a hard time coming up with titles for my post. Pretty boring to put the day of the week, but that's all I've got.

We survived the weekend and yesterday Brady went to Sylvan and then we spent time at the library. My boys love the library and this is a new one for them. They spent over an hour just browsing and were very happy when we left. They were a joy to be with yesterday and there aren't may days I get to say that. Most days they argue A LOT, but yesterday they seemed to get along well. They are supposed to play golf this morning, so the arguing may increase today.

We had such a good church service Sunday night. Our revival services were coming to a close and this service was very moving. The visiting preacher suffered a huge tragedy in December 2006 with the loss of a grandson to an accidental shooting. He spoke about grief and the things he learned during the tragedy and the time since. It was so moving that all I could do was sit there and cry. He had several points and I wanted to share them.

  • God doesn't always explain himself to us. He tells us to trust him even when we don't understand. (He never explained things to Job).
  • Kindness and compassion of people who love God and hurt with you are so important.
  • Incredible providence of God.
  • Grace of God is available and supplied at the right moment. (God doing for you what you can't do for yourself.)
  • God can take a tragedy and turn it into a triumph.
  • If tragedy can happen to a man like Job, it can happen to anybody.
  • Do Not presume on tomorrow. No one knows what tomorrow holds.
  • Express love to your family and friends WHILE you CAN.
  • There is a resource of help beyond human means.
  • Sometimes the right thing to say to someone who is hurting is nothing at all.

I found this message to be so uplifting. I can't imagine the death of one of my children. Would I be able to trust God? That would be a hard one I'm sure and I hope that I am never faced with it. I have thought so much about the post on Bring the Rain where she points out, you either trust him or you don't. I want to trust him and feel like I do most of the time, but as humans we all face those doubts and question why. I try to think about the phrase "God is good all the time, all the time God is good." Even when we don't understand. I am thankful for such a loving father.

I am off to go for an early morning walk with Melissa. She and I walked yesterday as well and I enjoyed it. Of course, I would rather be sleeping in!

Referrals came yesterday. I don't know the cut off from the CCAA, but it included one of our groups. Our next LID group is Jan. 25, 2006. We are 14 groups away for NSN adoption. I am praying that we get a call this month for a referral. I am asking God specifically about this and I am trusting him with the answer, even if I don't like it.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I have literally spent my week driving the kids to and from places. It has been a very busy week and although next week looks a bit hectic, it's nothing compared to this week. Ashton has his final basketball camp this afternoon at Austin Peay. He has been a very tired boy this week with 2 basketball camps each day. This has been the only morning he has been able to sleep in and he's still sleeping.

Brady made the golf team! He was very excited about that. I think that will be a huge boost for my boy who will be starting high school soon. He had Sylvan again yesterday and has to go 2 days next week to makeup for lost time. He is still very excited about it (she says sarcastically). I don't even respond to his complaining anymore. I'm hoping when he starts Algebra in the fall he will fall on his knees and thank me for this. I don't anticipate that happening, but one can dream.

Our weekend looks fairly busy, but there is nothing new about that. I have to work tonight and again on Sunday (day shift). I don't really like working days, but I will be working with my good friend BRENDA. (I told you I would mention your name Brenda!) We also have revival at church, so I have to prepare dessert for tonight and then we will attend tomorrow night. Before I blink, the weekend will be gone.

Please pray for my friend Maria. Their referral has not worked out and this baby needs all of our prayers. Maria and her family had to make a hard decision and I respect them for that. I know they would covet our prayers for their family and this baby girl. Life is so hard sometimes and I am so glad we have a GOD that lets us lean on him. He understands when we are angry, hurt, sad. He created us with all of those emotions and he isn't afraid for us to express them.

Psalms 116: 1 and 2 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Taxi Service, Would Gladly accept Tips!

Okay, so I'm not even going to bore you with the details of my day, but suffice it to say I have been in the car more than out of it. These boys are keeping me hopping this week and I would just like to say that I wouldn't be able to do it without my mother's help! Between basketball camps and golf tryouts, orthodontist apt., bassoon lessons, and tutoring, I couldn't do it without her.

We made the mistake of playing a family game of golf again yesterday and I have told the boys that I will no longer play with them. They were awful and it was no fun. They refuse to get along with one another and Ashton refuses to listen to advice and Brady is a snail. He has one pace and it's always slow. He will never die from overexertion! When you have 2 carts behind you and your son can't (won't) move fast, it doesn't make for an enjoyable afternoon.

Well, absolutely nothing exciting to talk about. I am about to have dinner and collapse on my couch so I can play this same game again tomorrow.