Friday, February 11, 2011

Pregnant With a Third Grader

Well, as God would have it, it appears I may be back here after all. Yesterday, we began the process of adding another precious Ethiopian daughter to our family. She is 9 and has been waiting for almost 2 years for a family to pick her to call their own. She won't have to wait much longer. This all happened VERY fast and we are still a bit shell-shocked at the thought of having three girls and heading back into the oh-so-exhausting adoption process again, but we know God put her in our path and that she belongs in our family. If all goes as we hope and pray, we will bring her home to join her little sisters late this summer before the start of the next school year. We are in full "manic mode" right now trying to crank out everything on our end to get our paperwork to Ethiopia as soon as is humanly possible. The rest will be in His hands. So, we are now officially "pregnant" - with a third grader. We covet your prayers for Divine Intervention in the frantic paperchase. Details to follow.

Coming soon...Big Miss K.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Missing This Space

Trying to decide if I've fallen so behind in my blogging that I should abandon ship. I can no longer rightfully call myself "a blogger" as that implies I actually blog. I still stalk many of you when I find 3 seconds to spare (roadtrips and iPhones work well for this), but even that is rare these days, and will probably get more rare with Kindergarten, a trip to Haiti and much more on the horizon. And still, I do miss this space. Hoping this year to commit to stopping by more often. For now, here are recent family pictures of two precious girls who get more beautiful every day .

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Fall!

We are gearing up for the Orphan Sunday: Voice of the Orphan event that our ministry is hosting on November 7th. We have 16 major area churches who will be inviting their congregations to join us that afternoon to hear about the orphan crisis and how we can all do something to help. We are praying for the hearts of those God will bring to the event that they will be moved to respond to whatever He is calling them to do for orphaned children. We are also specifically praying for God to provide more donors for our community adoption grant fund that helps fund adoption of children by local Christian families. Related to that, we are praying that we sell a lot of stuff from our Benevolent Bazaar that day. We have brought in a ton of merchandise, the sales of which will also go directly to building our growing adoption grant fund. We would love your prayers in the week ahead. There is still much to be done.

Happy Fall from our family to yours!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

At Least They Weren't Teletubbies

It's not Photo Friday yet but I somehow have three minutes to post some pretty cute pictures so I'm going to take advantage of it. The girls recently attended a Noah's Ark birthday party dressed as - that's right - a unicorn and a Care Bear. Thanks to a sweet aunt and an ever-growing niece, these dress-up treasures were lying at the bottom of the costume bin and I was just too darn tired and cheap to think up something more appropriate, particularly given how much I had shelled out to Pottery Barn Kids that same morning for what will debut later this month as we go on parade around the neighborhood. (And no, I could not just have made something myself because well, once again I am too darn tired and I have no sewing skills. So, I pay through the nose. Enough said.) I told people at the party that we read The Message translation so we figured a unicorn and Care Bear just might have been passengers on the ark. I'm sure some of our more conservative friends may have found that shocking but, hey, at least we didn't show up as Teletubbies. It could have been worse. Plus, like I said, the costumes were free and they looked OH.SO.CUTE on the Little Ladies.

The girls also posed today for their first official "We Actually Like Each Other" picture without being threatened or bribed. They, of their own volition, snuggled right up together on their little kitchen stools and posed away as we prepped to make a batch of banana bread on a rainy day. I will treasure this series of photos. I hope to fill my walls with a lifetime of pictures just like these.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Funnies from Her Majesty

Here are two funny stories you may enjoy from life in the trenches with the Big Bear.

Story #1
Me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Big Bear: "I want to be a princess...(*long pause*)... No, I want to be the mean king!"

My heart fluttered with pride just a bit at my little feminist daughter who has already realized she needs to be at the top of the food chain.

Story #2
(Setting: I had a frantic evening searching everywhere for what I thought was my lost phone. I had pretty much given up hope and was already bemoaning the pictures and videos I had never downloaded as I never sync my phone to my computer like I know I should. Not to mention all of the contacts that I had no other record of. As I was cooking dinner in the kitchen I was asking God if He might be able to give me a break on this one as it had been a bit of a rough week already. Super Dad agreed to go out to my car one last time with his Super Hearing to listen again for my phone which was of course on vibrate.)

*Enter Super Dad looking slightly annoyed and holding my phone in his outstretched hand.*

Me: (Grabbing the phone ecstatically) "Thank you, Jesus!!!"
Big Bear: "Mommy, why you calling Daddy 'Jesus'?"

Happy Friday. I hope those made you smile as Big Bear makes me smile each day often for no other reason than she is mine.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So Whose Kid Is This Anyway?

We have been dealing with a lot around here lately. Our orphan ministry has exploded which is a total blessing but it also means that we have an event almost every week for the next several months. We are in full promotion mode right now for our city-wide, multi-church event for Orphan Sunday. The Lord has opened so many doors for us and brought so many wonderful people to join our efforts to get orphans on the radar of Christians in our community. We now have adoptive parents representing Russia, China, Ethiopia and Honduras working on our leadership team as well as some amazing families that are praying about adopting out of foster care here in the US.

On top of all that is swirling with the ministry, we recently lost my sweet Grandpa, a war hero whose love affair with my Grandma spanned 68 years. The day he died, I loaded the girls up in the car and headed to my parents' house to help with funeral preparations. While there, my mom and I worked for hours on a slideshow that showcased my grandfather's amazing life story. I went to bed at 1am the night we finished the project only to be awakened at 5am by a screaming child (this is always a great way to start your day). I went to Junia's room and found her screaming on the floor (this then woke up Eden who also started screaming ... did I mention I had had four hours of sleep at this point?). Junia had evidently rolled out of her toddler bed which is just a few inches off the ground (and the irony is she sleeps in a big girl bed at home!) As Junia is prone to drama at times, I put her (and Eden) in bed with me and got them both calmed down a bit. Junia through more tears told me "Mommy, it hurts to touch it." As this sounded like more than the usual drama, I turned on the very bright bathroom light (at 5 am ...) only to see a VERY LARGE bump where her clavicle should be. I then called poor Super Dad who had just returned to our house from a business trip to the opposing coast and who was also running on four hours of sleep to ask what a broken collarbone looked like as he had had one as a child. It was very clear at that point given my mad skills in diagnostics that the bone was indeed broken (being able to feel two distinct pieces is usually not a good sign). Given that my only other alternative was to sit with two screaming preschoolers in an out-of-town ER for 6 hours while waiting to be seen by some disinterested resident, I opted to throw my bedraggled kiddos into the car and drive (at 5 am...) the three hours home directly to the front door of our pediatrician's office so that he could confirm my diagnosis (which he did in about 3 seconds) and help my baby girl.

As I drove bleary-eyed up the freeway through the morning-commute LA traffic, I was thinking about a comment made by a good friend of mine recently. Keep in mind that this friend is someone we know really well, someone whose kids are friends with my kids, someone who is in our social community. She asked me if I thought I would ever want to "have my own someday". Now this is not the first time I've been asked this and I have learned to put on my happy face and self-censor a bit and use these opportunities to help teach people about adoption, recognizing that this is something very foreign to most people who define family by blood ties. That being said, I found this particular interaction more troubling than most because this is someone who knows us well. And yet, she still didn't get it. She still didn't understand that by asking a question like that she was negating the legitimacy of my children as "real children" - children that are "my own". She still didn't understand that God had forever knitted us together as family in a mysterious and amazing miracle, not unlike how He works in the miracle of conception. I left my conversation with her saddened. For all we are doing right now to raise awareness about orphans and to promote orphan care and adoption, it appears our efforts may not have succeeded in our closest circle. As I drove 80-plus miles an hour because my baby was in pain and needed her Mama to fix her, I thought to myself, "If this isn't my child, then who does she belong to?" Seriously, if you ask me if I want "my own" kids that implies that the kids I have are not mine, and if they are not mine, can someone please tell me whose they are? If they aren't mine I am certainly going to a fair bit of inconvenience and enduring a fair bit of life disruption for children that belong to other people. They certainly appear to belong to me when one of them wakes me up screaming at 5 am or when one of them grabs both of my cheeks in her small little four year old hands, puts her nose to mine and and says "I love you, Mama" or when one of them calls for me from her darkened bedroom and says in her smallish two year old voice "Mommy, I want you. Sleep with me, Mama." From all I can tell practically speaking, they are mine. Two governments say they are mine and more importantly God says they are mine and will hold me accountable for what I am doing to raise them. So, dear friend, please don't ask me if my precious girls for whom I have rearranged my career, my social calendar, my sleeping schedule, my bathing rituals, my long-term financial plans and, generally speaking, the sum total of all my life goals are "mine". It should be obvious to you by now that they are and it breaks my heart when you ask that because these children are as "real" to me as yours are to you. They are my life as your birth children are to you and no child that comes from my body will ever have more status as "my own" than these daughters born of my heart.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


There is so much I want to say right now but time does now allow (shocking, I know, since it's been a month since I was last here). I have to find a way to carve out time to blog as this has really been my digital baby book for the girls and I don't want to give up on this ongoing record of their history in our little family. Somehow I WILL find a way. I will find a way to tell you what I've been thinking lately about the umpteenth person who has asked me if I ever want to "have my own someday" and about broken bones -- two things on my radar of late. Someday I will tell you about these things but not today. I'm still trying to figure out how to negotiate two full time kids, a full time job, what has now become an almost-full-time ministry and blogging. Blogging has lost out. For now. I shall return though. Someday. At least you get a few pictures for now. Sometimes I look at my daughters and I'm awestruck by how beautiful they are. They amaze me every day in so many ways. Perhaps because they didn't grow in my body for nine months, they are still new enough to me to amaze me. I am still just amazed by how little humans work -- that they walk and talk and think and have opinions. No, I didn't see my little girls roll over for the first time. But I did laugh in amazement last week when one of them looked at me incredulously and said, "Are you kidding me?!" for the first time. They sparkle and shine in so many ways and I remain amazed.