Monday, July 19, 2010

Mango Memories

You know when you don't plan on it but you have a flash back.  That happened to me this afternoon as I was cutting up a mango for my baby.  That sensorial memory is something else.

I used to work as a nurse before this mommy gig and had the opportunity to live and work in Belize.  It was quite an experience for me, many lessons learned and lots of personal growth.  I lived in a little town called Benque Viejo del Carmen on the Guatemalan border in a small house with 4 other women, they were teachers.  In our front yard lived a woman named "Sarah."  Yes, she literally lived in our front yard in a little yellow 1 room shack.  They didn't even have a bathroom.  Well, they did, in a separate out-house next to the shack.  A stinky, smelly hole in the ground with dilapidated wood forming wanna-be walls.  Not too much modesty for a young woman using the restroom.  Sarah lived with her 2 young children, "Maybelline" (like the cosmetic company) and "Nere."  They were 1yr. and 5yr. and Sarah was probably mid-twenties pushing 40.  They were poor but they had shelter and Sarah was my friend.

Just in front of the shack and out-house, closest to the street, we shared a large mango tree.  Fresh, yummy mangoes grew for us to have any time.  I often would see little Nere and Maybelline with their fists full of fruit and yellow juice streaming down their chins and their tummies with satisfied smiles on their faces.  When they were hungry they simply could go out their front door and Nere would find a rock, aim and knock a mango out of the tree for his little sister first and then one for himself.  Sometimes his aim was really good and Sarah would share their mangoes with me.  They were good.

One day I looked out of the window and saw 2 men knocking down the rest of our mangoes to sell.  I was so mad I ran out of the house and started yelling at them in my lousy Spanish and waved my arms at them  crazily trying to shoo them away.  "How would Maybelline and Nere have anything to eat if they took all of their mangoes"  I was thinking.  The men stopped and looked at me puzzled then continued to gather the mangoes.  I frantically looked around but could do nothing more and frankly I was scared.  I was scared I would make the men mad and they would come and hurt me.  I was mad I couldn't do anything more and mad that my little friends might not have any more mangoes, I was mad.

I remember trying to explain to Sarah later about what had happened and how I had tried to save the mangoes, defend the mango tree, and she simply looked at me and smiled and shrugged.  I think that day I learned how she survived, she rolled with the punches.  Sarah had no real voice, I mean , she could speak but who would hear?  She was husband less, jobless, but somehow she had shelter and her children were fed.  She never complained and always had a smile on her face.  I miss Sarah and her children.

Tomorrow I will share a mango with my children and tell them about Sarah and the mango tree.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We have been soooo busy around these parts lately.  I'll try to quickly give the low down on what's up:

* our home study STILL is not done!  We have been so patient but our social worker came either March  or April, I can't even remember it was so long ago, and we are still waiting on it.  Bob e-mailed her and she said, "a couple more days."  That was 4 days ago.  Patience!

* we are coming to the reality that we probably won't have Camille until possibly March of next year.  God can do anything so maybe sooner but we need to prepare our hearts for a longer wait.

* we have been busy with swimming, soccer and dance workshops.  The kids are lucky to have such great opportunities in our community.

*Nate has been to see a geneticist.  He is really tired most of the time and gets great sleep.  Sometimes cleft l/p can occur in a syndrome with heart issues.  His growth hormone levels were low too so we need to investigate further.

*we have seen a slight improvement in Nate's behavior but he is still really struggling.  It's nice to have perspective now.  We can look back on his behavior from last summer and see how hard he(we)  has/have worked.

*we are having our house painted in a few weeks and still have a bit of remodeling that needs to be finished.

*planning curriculum and teaching goals for the kids for next school year.  Really loving the Charlotte Mason approach and trying to see how that fits with my personality and needs at this point.

*going on vacation TODAY to Mnt. Rushmore!  Fun fun!!

Thankful for my parents and their help to our busy family.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time to introduce our little girl

                                               Camille Hope

Isn't she cute!  We are in love with this little girl.  We finally have the stamp of approval from our adoption agency so I feel safe to introduce our newest little angel.  We are so happy and so relieved to get the go-ahead.  God is good and this time of wait and testing has been another great lesson of faith in Him.

Camille is currently 1yr. 1mnth. and we get monthly updates on her from New Day.  She recently had chicken pox so we can mark that off the immunization list and she calls her nannies "Auntie."  Not sure if that's in Chinese or English.  We are so thankful she is at New Day and is obviously loved and cared for there.  It makes the wait for her that much more bearable.

Currently we are finishing up some loose ends on our paper work and then in about 2-3 months our dossier should be complete.  We are still hoping that we can travel around November, hopefully sooner but hard to tell.  God has done some amazing things for us with this adoption so it is all in His time.  In the meantime we are sending off her first care package complete with a Ni  Hao Kai-Lan doll, cute summer outfits, bubbles and candy for all of the kids and nannies.  Hard to cram all of that into a shoe box.  She will be sharing a room with our oldest, Grace(10), so we need to get that all situated.  Time for another crib as our baby still is in his, possibly another high chair, definitely more cute girl clothes, and  we need to figure out a Chinese middle name.  I cannot believe how blessed we are!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Miss Khloe -- Please help bring this baby home

Please go to this site  and help bring this sweet girl home.  Her family is leaving very soon and still needs to raise in-China funds.  You can also go to the New Day Foster Home site and read more about Khloe.  How exciting for this family to get to meet their little angel in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


We are into the thick of paperwork around here.  We have our pre-approval to adopt Camille from the CCAA and it only took 1 day!  I am amazed at how quickly everything is going so far, not at all like a typical adoption.  God is moving mountains for this little girl.  I have faith she is in good hands until we come and get her.

Tomorrow is our homestudy.  Our house has been sufficiently cleaned but I'm hoping the social worker doesn't look in any closets ; )  A few items had to be quicky tossed into the back of a closet until later.  Gotta love crisis cleaning!

My prayers for our sweet baby are that she knows how much we love her, that the dear Lord prepares her for this big crazy family and that he prepares us for her.  I'm specifically praying for attachment and bonding and if there are any issues that He will guide our hearts and our eyes to the help we need to help our girl.  I'm specifically praying for dear little Issac, our baby of the family now.  He and Camille are 3mnths apart and it is not easy to be booted out of the baby role.  I pray that God helps ease that transition for him.  I also pray He eases the transition for our youngest girl, Helena.  She is 6 and for 6yrs she's had the role of the baby girl.  Hard for the kids but they always do so well when we welcome a new little one into the mix.

I thank you dear Father for your many blessings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IT'S A ...........

GIRL!!!!   Yep, we got matched.  Already!!!  We got an email last Friday saying they had a possible match for us.  We didn't get the email until late Friday and had to wait an agonizing 2 days to find out her information.  On Monday they sent her info. and we were in love.  We prayed on this decsion and today we let the agency know we would love to be this little girl's parents.  I... can'!!!

God is so good and gave us special confirmations along the way about this little one.  I prayed she would be in foster care but specifically prayed it would be New Day Foster Home and guess what, that's exactly where she is at.  Freaking out!  When we recieved this information I couldn't believe it.  Thank you dear Jesus!!!

What's next?  Well, we have to do it backwards from last time because we have so many children (awesome).  First we get matched...Check!   Then we ask CCAA if they think we would be a good enough family to raise this little girl.  If we are approved then we can start our dossier.  I'm guessing we will be able to get her in about 7-9 months.  I've been working on as many other little tid bits of paperwork already but the bulk, the dossier, will take about 4-5 mnths.

How wonderful it is we have her picture and can pray for our little girl by name (we have named her Camille Hope) and face!  God is so good!!

I'll post a pic after we are approved, I don't want to risk anything  by releasing information before we've been OK'd to do so.

Please keep our family and little Camille in your prayers.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just.....just..... say it

I feel like I have my hand securely placed over my own mouth, with a few dabs of super glue.  I have been eagerly awaiting and painfully postponing this post for awhile.  I feel like I'm a jumble of emotions about this, just kinda happy/yucky!  Nuts, I know.

OK, here it is,  WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN!  Alright it's out now.  Family knows, some close friends know.  We and God know most importantly.

Why am I so emotional about this?  Because this is a HUGE leap of faith on our part.  I've spoken a little about our issues with our adopted son Nathaniel but what I haven't clearly expressed is the extreme stress that his yet undiagnosed (but momma has a hunch) emotional state has brought upon him first and the rest of the family second.  We really thought we were done adopting....FOREVER.  But, God had other plans.

Last summer he quietly spoke to my heart about opening our family to another little one, I shared this with my husband who thought I was CRAZY!   I thought I was crazy too.  I asked him to pray with me about this and he did.  I also shared with him the ladybug in adoption thing, you know, the stories you hear in the adoption community about how God gives you a ladybug as a sign of hope during your wait.  Well Bob thought I was a little crazy about this too but guess what, he was bombarded with lady bugs.  I mean it was almost obnoxious in a wonderful, God could never be obnoxious but He almost was, sort of way.  Every time the guy walked out the door he saw a ladybug or he would walk in the house with one on him, all. summer. long.  Was this enough, nope, Bob needed more time to pray so pray we did.

Fast forward to this Fall.  I really had decided that we were not going to adopt.  I let it go.  I was so tired of being at odds with my husband over this subject and there was always a sense of stress plus add Nate's behavior to the mix and I thought "We really do have our hands full, thank you very much, not gonna happen!"   It was November 28th and we had just set up the Christmas tree, I went in and sat down on the couch in the other room while Bob cleaned up the pine needles-- ha, see how I get outta work around my house ; ).  While I was nursing I was over come with a sense of urgency about adopting.  I yelled at God - well, in my head,  and I told him to LEAVE ME ALONE!!!   I told him I had done the best I could to change my husband's heart again towards adoption INCLUDING fasting for him and I was done, DONE I TELL YOU.   I told God IT'S NOT ME YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE, IT'S THE  GUY IN THE OTHER ROOM SWEEPING UP PINE NEEDLES, LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE!!!!  Then I hung up the phone on Him, yep I really did.

I finished nursing Isaac, stood up and walked into the kitchen and Bob walked in and said "you'll never believe what just happened, I just swept up a ladybug!"  He had the dustpan in his hand and there she was, walking around among the pine needles, all happy and gift from God like.  Well, I burst into tears and told him what had just happened.  He said "We need to really pray about this." and then I choked him because Helloooo, that's what I've been doing.  Needless to say I found another ladybug the next day and thanked God for that sign of hope for ME, the sinner that just yelled and hung up on Him.

We prayed and we prayed and we prayed. My daughter's Grace and Noelle prayed every single night quietly to themselves for 30 days straight and didn't breath a word of it to their daddy. On Valentine's day he finally said "lets start the paper work."  So we officially started our second adoption February 2010.  Miracles do happen, never underestimate the powerful prayers of a child!

Can I just say we are scared, scared I tell ya.  We love our son Nate so much and are working so hard to help him heal as well as heal ourselves but his adoption has really been traumatic at times for ALL of us.  So that's where the leap of faith comes into play.  We didn't have a fairytale, awesome, tell the whole world "GO ADOPT"  type of adoption.  Do we fiercly love Nathaniel: YES. Will we work our tushies off to help him heal and pray thousands of blessings over that boy?   ALWAYS.

We are fully prepared to have another child with the same emotional traumas as Nate has, we have simply said "Yes."  But, I am praying for God to have mercy on us and to again prepare us for what our new little one will bring.

We ALL are the Body of Christ.  We have felt His hands holding us through this journey through others in our life.  The prayers of family and friends, the hands on help we have recieved in those dark times.  We all make up His Body even in our brokeness because it's through our brokeness and weakness that our eyes SEARCH for HIM.

So, we are adopting we JOYFULLY and FAITHFULLY declare!!