Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One Down

At long last we have one major adoption decision made. Today I emailed (and mailed by postal service) a letter to Acres of Hope requesting the return of our dossier. We are no longer comfortable accepting a referral from their agency. We now need to decide where we will pursue our adoption. We are leaning toward Ethiopia.

We were originally intending to adopt from Ethiopia but got sidetracked to Liberia. As I pondered why this might have happened, I wondered if God needed to stretch us. Especially in the specifics of the child(ren) we would consider. Rather than only considering infants we have expanded our vision. Rather than only considering an only child we are tentatively seeking to be approved for two children in case God calls us to adopt a sibling set.

Today I called our social worker and left a message requesting that she update our home study to reflect the above changes, country and number of children. The other exciting thing is that at least one of my sister-in-laws is intending to pursue adoption from Ethiopia. Won't that be fun!

Okay, on a different topic. Noelle and I are in the final practices for the play "Henry and Ramona". She plays Ribsy the dog, and I play Mrs. Peabody, who apparently doesn't have a name in the books. The fun part is my costume. I have a gray wig, funky 50s glasses, a girdle, garter and stockings. My face will be aged, though we haven't had makeup yet. My role is so fun. I get to push kids around in a bathtub, get soaked during a dog fight, and watch my little girl be the best dog ever. I will post some pictures as soon as we have a practice in makeup!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not as wierd as I thought

Well, Amber tagged me, so now I must share five wierd things about me. This was much harder than I thought it would be. I had to ask my family for help, and they really weren't that much help. So I'm not sure if I'm not very wierd, not very creative, or just in denial. I probably should have consulted the youth group kids I work with, I'm sure they could have come up with some good ones! But here goes ( I'm doing more than five because I couldn't decide which ones were actually interesting!):

A picture is worth a thousand words!

2. Apparently I occasionally bolt right up in the middle of the night and talk to my husband. My favorite story is when I asked him where puppies come from. Generally, he tries to hold a conversation with me and eventually I get angry and go back to sleep.

3. I change my hair...a lot! Often, drastically. I think it started my senior year in high school. When everyone else was sporting feathered long hair, I chopped mine off. I'm not even sure if I know for sure what my natural color is anymore. It's never been black been it's been almost every other color, and I rarely have the same style for more than a couple of months.

4. I love learning. My fifteen year old says this is wierd. I would take classes just for fun forever. I love to do crossword puzzles and sudukos, especially before I go to bed.

5. I'm not good at sharing the newspaper, especially the Sunday paper. I like to have it all to myself and pass it on when I'm done.

6. My personality has drastically changed since I got married. I blame it on my husband loving me so well that my true personality has finally emerged. I was very shy when we were dating, which no one will believe now. I was never very athletic, now I love to try new things: kayaking, running 1/2 marathons, triathalons, soccer, etc.

7. I get car sick , but I love amusement park rides. All of them, especially the ones that go around and around.

I have no idea who hasn't been tagged yet. So if you're reading this and you haven't been tagged, "You're it!"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

True love

I checked out Amber's blog today and was inspired. She and her hubby are celebrating their fifth anniversary and she posted some fun pictures. Our anniversary was back in August, but this will be our 21st Valentine's Day as a couple. Don't laugh too much, these pictures are from 1987! We were both 21 years old when we got married. We were ID'd at a champagne brunch at our hotel during our one night honeymoon in Des Moines, that's Iowa for all of you world travelers. We were married on Saturday and had to be back to school on Monday.
This is my family. I'm the oldest and these are my two sisters, Karen and Kathryn. (Kathy back then.) They are mom to four of my nieces and nephews. By the way, I am wearing the wedding dress that my mom was married in. My daughter says she is going to wear it too. I told her, if she does, her grandma and I are going to cry a river. Who am I kidding, I'll cry a river anyway!
This photo was that last of my "long hair". Scary! And check out the styling glasses. This was at our little rental house in Madison, WI. We had to find a place that would accept dogs. We were evicted from our townhouse after I got Scott a puppy for his birthday.
Taking a kissing break, the best part of any day together! I love you, Scott! XXXXOOOO!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Discouragement, with a capital D!

Hopefully the process of sorting out my thoughts and emotions for this entry will be therapuetic. Monday was sort of a down day. I felt discouraged by the adoption process, seems like all the news is bad news...more on that later. Our house is a disaster. I used to love my house. I still like my bedroom, the kitchen and our basement, remodeled a year or two ago. But the rest of it just fell apart, with some assistance from a twelve pound terror of a dog and two active kids. All of a sudden everything seems old and in disrepair. Not something I am good at ignoring. However, it takes time, energy and money to solve these issues. And a willing partner, hey Scott, is helpful as well.

So that was Monday. Tuesday started out OK. I made it to Bible Study and had lunch with my mentee, Corah. I even got to climb in the tubes at Burger King with her son, Elijah. It always does my heart good to play. I felt like God, and Beth Moore, had a word for me. Beth said to "go with you last clear word from God". Since I have felt like we are floundering in this adoption process, that made sense. I have said I don't feel called to give up, in fact, I haven't even felt a strong nudge to change agencies despite everything. But I know that when we started this process, GOD CALLED US TO ADOPT FROM LIBERIA! So the only other word I have recieved is...WAIT.

Psalm 27:13&14
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord: be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Psalm 130:5
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

Isaiah 40:27-31
"O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles: How can you say God refused to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted , and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strengh. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Deuteronomy 31:8
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Do you know what is funny? I thought that making the decision to adopt was the hard part. I thought that we decided, we did our part of the leg work, AoH did their part, we accepted a referral and we brought our child home. I was not prepared for the stops and starts, the hills and valleys. An update of the valleys: there are rumors that AoH will be shut down, there are rumors that adoptions in Liberia will be stopped, there are rumors that travel time will be changed to three weeks, Adopt International is not accepting more applications until they process their pilot families (which effectively takes away that option for now). It seems as if every time I read my email there is more bad news.

Today there was a post that said that AoH has given out five referrals. But if we received a call what would we do. Could we handle the ride through uncertainty if we accepted? I pray that God would continue to give Scott and I unity as we approach each crossroads. I am feeling led to commit this process more to the Lord. That may sound silly at this point, but with Lent in the back of my mind I wonder if I should be fasting. Side note: I have always struggled with fasting because of the whole diet thing. I never feel like I can commit to fasting without thinking, "Oh, and I might lose weight while I'm at it." Oh well, something else for me to ponder.

Well, I just got off the phone with my mother -in- law and she reminded me that there is a world out there in crisis. China is having blizzards and the south is having tornadoes. People are suffering and I need to remember the big picture. By the way, if you live in the Minneapolis area check out http://www.dangerousman.org/. My father-in-law wrote this book and is helping to host conferences for men. The next one is in Minneapolis February 23rd. How amazing if each one of us would be dangerous for the Lord! Speaking of which, I finished a really good book from the Voice of the Martys called "Hearts of Fire" about women in the underground church. Very inspiring. (See http://www.vombooks.com/)

Wow, that's enough babbling for today. Have a dangerous and not discouraged day. "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4