Monday, January 28, 2008

There's no place like home!

Hello, 5 baht. These children were selling bracelets, for about 15 cents.
Not an Iowa cow!
Noelle and I fell off an elephant, really!! Noelle broke her foot.
Watching babies was so fun and the parents were so appreciative. This is Vera and David.
Noelle and David. She was chief diaper changer.
Push through the fear. Zip line fun!
Noelle, Sam and I
Foot massages for $4 an hour.
The view from the Buddhist temple, above Chang Mai.

A woman weaving in a village.

We are safely home from Thailand. Well, except for Noelle's broken foot. Brief synopsis of our trip. We spent two nights in Bangkok. We were able to take a water taxi tour and see some of the city and its markets and shopping. Then it was on to Chang Mai. We saw brochure for a zip line at the airport and about two hours later we were on our way. It was incredible. The guy who started it was from New Zealand and had worked on the amazing race. Believe it or not, I am afraid of heights. The secret is to look ahead to the next tree and not look down.
Saturday we went trekking to a village and waterfall and then on an elephant ride. Our elephant ride was cut short when Noelle and I seat slid off the elephant and we fell out. Ouch. and very scary. I turned around to help Noelle and she was trapped between the elephant's ear and his front leg. She ended up with a broken foot and we ended up with a slightly less active finish to our trip.
Monday through Friday we watched babies for a missions conference. I panicked just a little when I found out there was a potential of fourteen babies on the list and we were watching them in a hotel room. Turned out, we had some volunteers to help and we actually never had more than ten babies at a time. We watched them from 8-12, 2-4 and 7-9. So it was a full day, especially since my assistant was on crutches. Thailand is not very handicapped accessible. We had to take a wheelchair down a parking ramp to get from our hotel to the one holding the conference. Noelle could not make it quite that far on her crutches.
We finished out our week with a little bit of shopping and a trip to the Bangkok aquarium. Next it was about 24 hours of flying, No sleep. Something about me and sleeping and travel. Scott and Jake picked us up in Minneapolis to save us the last little flight. My sweet son, stayed up until 5 AM doing laundry so I wouldn't have to come home to laundry. Apparently, I'm doing something right...I love those moments.
And now, I try to stay awake all day and get back on the right time schedule. I checked my 400+ emails last night. No news about our adoption. With no contact from our agency, at this point we are looking seriously into another agency. Keep us in your prayers as we pursue this option.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Tomorrow Noelle and I leave for a two week missions trip to Thailand. That's the WOW. We will be doing childcare for an all-Asia conference. It will be amazing I am sure.

This week we received an email from AoH stating that six referrals will be given out next week. Another WOW. Of course, while I am out of the country. We have no idea if we will be one of the families. We have no idea what we will do if we are one of the families. We still have some reservations and are trying to sort out information and seek God's will. At least two families have pulled out of AoH this week. I struggle with feeling like: "If families keep pulling out, we will get our child so much sooner." But does that truly mean that things are so messed up that we need to be switching agencies.

Please pray for AoH and their director. Pray that they would submit to God's leading and put God's will and the children of Liberia first. I know that is where they started.

Pray also for our family as we are apart for these two weeks. That is always hard for us.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!

At the market in Mexico
Silly sign, that made me giggle, in the bathroom at a restaurant.

On the Hawley's "porch", overlooking the pool and Sea of Cortez.
Thank you for my geography lesson, Vince.

One of the enormous cacti (or cactuses) at the Hawley hacienda!

OK, so everytime I post pictures I forget how to space the pictures and the text. How annoying. Well, somehow I got through all of Christmas with no Christmas pictures. Not one of opening presents, not one of sledding, not one of Noelle being silly. How is that possible??
So... these pictures are of our trip to Phoenix and Mexico. Much warmer than Iowa. I actually wore a swimming suit, not that I am likely to post a picture of that!
Thank you, Hawleys, for your hospitality!!

New Year's Resolution:
To be honest I haven't reflected on this as much as I should. It seems as if I have the same ones every year. Exercise at least three times a week, have a quiet time with the Lord every day, and eat healthy. Year after year after year. Well, I have been consistently exercising 2-3 times a week (running and playing tennis) for over a year. I guess I would like to add strength training, yoga and more tennis. But you know what, there has to be balance. What is healthy and what is "worshipping" my body?
Eating healthy. Most days I can't imagine that it is even possible for me. I love food! And unfortunately if I had my choice: hamburgers, milkshakes, dessert of most any kind, and on and on with unhealthy choices would make the top of my list. I have never learned to crave fruit and especially not vegetables. Wow, need to keep that on the list.
Time with my Lord, creator of all things, my salvation. Why is this even a question?? I need to write this on my calendar, like basketball games, soccer games and play practice. Any help would greatly be appreciated. I feel like I spend lots of time completing Bible studies and not near enough time just spending time with God.
Most importantly, I want to add a resolution to adopt. It feels like it needs to be that, a resolution. God has called us to adopt. Now we need to seek wisdom and perseverance. I know it would be so much easier if we had a referral. We do not feel overly prompted to change agencies, but maybe a lack of a referral is God's way of nudging us to seek out another agency. Sometimes this all feels too overwhelming. Adoption was overwhelming enough before this chaos. Chaos isn't really my thing.
Wow, this post didn't go where I expected it to at all. Welcome to online journaling.