Tuesday, December 14, 2010
There is a huge piece of me that feels crummy for celebrating Christmas. I feel guilty that I get to enjoy the wonderful holiday at home with my family while they are thousands of miles away in an orphanage, no family, no gifts, no Santa. I know in my heart that God has a perfect plan and that his timing is one of perfection whereas my timing is out of impatience. I know that even though we wont be with them this year for Christmas, God is with them. I also know that even though they are in an orphange this year for Christmas...next year will the most special Christmas ever!
So in the wait for a court date (which we are praying hard is going to be in January because I don't know that I can make it to Feb.), I want to focus on the reason for the season. It is not the gifts and Santa, but rather the birth of Jesus. He is the one and only reason for the season. I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
We had a great Thanksgiving. My whole family was down and stayed through the weekend. It is not often that my brother and my sister are able to make it back for several days at a time. My brother stayed at our house of a couple nights and my sister and her family was right next door at my parents for a few days. It was so wonderful to have us all together for several days. Then we got to do our annual Black Friday shopping. I love black Friday shopping. It has become a tradition with my BFF, Benji and I. This year my sister and bro-in-law were abe to go too. We always have a great time.
Then, this past Sunday, our church hosted a "Bringing home the boys shower" for us. I can not even express how blessed that we were. I must say that ladies in our church are some of the hardest working, most giving, very loving, and all around best ladies ever! We were so blessed to have several of our friends and family there. I know that I have said it before but our family and friends mean so much to us. We have some of the best family and some of the best friends ever. We could not do this without the amount of support that we have recieved. We are so lucky to have the friends and family that God has put in our lives. The boys were blessed with so many nice new things and we were blessed by the outpouring of love. Thank you so much to everyone that took time out of your busy schedules to come, I know that many of you lead very busy lives and many of you had a bit of a drive...but we thank you so much for coming. It really and truly meant so much to both Benji and I.
As of now, we are having some issues with some paperwork. There is one thing the court is requesting and we are having a hard time getting. I am growing very impatient and have to constantly rely on the Lord to keep my patience in check. I am just so ready to see the boys again and get them home. Each day that passes, our chances of a Jan. court date gets smaller. We know that the Lord is not going to leave us hanging...he never has and never will. We are just so ready to get them home.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Adoption is a calling in life. It is not for everyone. Heck, as tough as it can be, sometimes I wonder if it is really for us:) Everyone in life has their own calling. It's all a matter of really seeking the Lord and listening to what your calling life is. When the Lord calls...you answer. The Lord has called Benji and I to adopt and we are doing our very best to listen and follow him.
Again, we have been quite fortunate to not have been met with too many negative adoption skeptics. I do have a very dear friend who is in the process of adopting as well, and she has been met with a little negativity. There are people out there that are a little narrow minded and somewhat insensitive. Plain and simply put...they do not understand adoption, let alone international adoption. All I can say is...it's a God thing. If you don't understand, then seek him for the answers. When you are truely seeking the Lord...it really stirs the devil up and aggitates him. Thus he comes in and trys very hard to discourage you on the path that you are on. I just challenge anyone out there to NOT let the devil use you as a vessel to discourage others who are fighting their own battles. If you can't be positive, uplifting and encouraging to someone then by all means...just be silent. Otherwise...you are doing the devil's dirty work.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Other things that help keep our spirits up is the love and support that we have from our family and friends. I can not express how much this means to us. I know I have said this over and over but we are just so blessed by family and our friends. We were overwelmed with the love and support that we recieved when we got home. Immediately, our family and friends began working on baby shower prepartaions. My mama has been just a shopping for the boys. She has made sure that they have nice warm clothes as we travel home through Russia in the winter...yep it is going to be a little chilly:) My aunt (Shasha) sent us a bag of some of the best children's books ever. She also bought several gloves and hats for us to leave at the orphanage for the other kids there. My dear friend Hannah and her mama Karen came for a visit last weekend. Hannah bought the boys a set of Skippy Jones books (super cute, if you have small children, these books are hysterical) and Mrs. Karen bought the boys a Christmas present (that I am still holding out hope that they get to open this year). Our dear friends Tara and Jonathan (are in the process of adoption from Russia as well) came up last week and bought the boys a fire truck, puzzle and some bath crayons.
We are truly blessed by some great people in our lives. We are so thankful for those that have kept constant contact, given daily words of encouragement, and come to visit. Words cannot describe how grateful we are for the love and support that we have recieved.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Later that evening, my grand parents came up to see pictures and have dinner. I can't even begin to explain how blessed that we are with people in our lives. The entire time that we were in Russia, we got so much support from back home. Our family was always there to skype when we needed a taste of home, so many friends sent constant support through emails and facebook. The constant love and support from our family and friends helped more than I can ever say. Being in a foreign country on such an emotional experience is tough. But to know that you have so much love and support back home helps so much.
Then when I got to work today, there were special surprises all in my office:) I have some of the best friends that a girl could ever ask for. A special thank you to Ashley, Renee and Tara! You guys are all such a blessing to me. Your love, support and constant words of encouragement mean the world to me. You are truly the best friends that I could ever ask for. Thank you for being there every step of the way with me.
Friday, October 22, 2010
There is a little issue (well a big issue to be perfectly honest) with the boys biological family. Apparently there is not sufficient evidence that they have done everything that they could to locate their biological family. Well, Tues they located a grandmother. This was almost gut wrenching to us. However we were told that she just had to sign a paper and all would be well. Of course our minds go to the "what if". What if she doesn't sign, what if other family members come forward and want them? We already love them and consider them our sons. I don't know that we could bear it if something happened.
Last night, one of our facilitators called and said that the grandmother has signed. Praise the Lord! This still doesn't put us 100% in the green but in international adoptions, nothing is guarenteed until the judge signs the papers. Thus our drive to get to court as soon as possible is even greater. The sooner we go to court, the less the chance of family coming forward.
We can't wait to get back and see their sweet little faces and to bring them home to be our forever family!
This trip was harder than we ever anticipated. But next time, we will be landing with two of the most precious gifts ever. After a week in a foreign country, extremely exhausted and slap worn out, we were met at the airport by my sister, bro-in-law and nephew. They came to pick us up as they live fairly close to the airport. There was no better return home than to my sweet nephew yelling "Shanny" and running into my arms. They brought us back to their house (where we will stay until tomorrow before we head home) and at midnight....they had steaks, baked potatoes, corn, bread and......SWEET TEA!!! I can't tell yo what a great home coming this was. Benji was beyond thrilled to have "his kind of food"! Thank you Staci and Dwayne. Supper was beyond delicious!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, my sister had hacked into my account where I had pictures from our trip and made the cutest scrapbook of our visits with the boys and had printed and framed two family photos for us. I had no idea she knew how to get into my account (she clearly knows me all too well:) Thank you so much for such a great homecoming!!! We love you guys!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I traced their feet so that we can get the correct size shoe. D loved this and wanted me to trace his feet over and over again. But once again as soon as he realized he was relaxed he cut it off and would go off and play by himself. It was just tough that he was so distant today. I do feel if we could just communicate with him a little better that it would have been a little easier.
They soon came and got D as it was his lunch time. The caretaker I am assuming told him to tell us good-bye and he walked up to me. I picked him up and just hugged on him for a minute. He let me and he halfway put his head on my shoulder for a split second. Then he went to Benji and allowed him to pick him up but was very distant to Benji. This was so hard for Benji. I think Benji is kinda taking it somewhat personally.
This left us with a few minutes alone with M. During this time M was a little more active with us. I was able to get some good camera recordings of him copying Benji making funny noises, waking at the camera then I even got him blow kisses to the camera. Then they came to get him. He ran and hugged his care taker which is a good thing in the adoption world as it shows he has developed a bond. He waved good-bye to us but wouldn't give us a hug as he did yesterday. It was kind of a tough day. Yesterday was so great and we had expectations of the same today. That is not to say that today was bad, just not as easy to connect with them as it was yesterday.
I don't know that we can ever describe just how emotionally draining this is. You are fighting major jet lag, in complete culture shock, then a flood of emotions that you were not expecting with the children you are just praying are to become yours. To say that we are flat exhausted is an understatement. Tomorrow is the last day that we get to see the boys until we can come back for court. The way that they were talking today, it would be January or possibly even Feburary. At this point we just have to lay it in God's hands. It is all out of our control at this time...but 100% in his control.
We have been blessed to meet another American couple that here on their first trip. We both met our children the same day. We feel so fortunate to have met them as the are a great Christian couple that has been great support to us. We have been going to dinner every night. There is a great amount of comfort in having someone else here that speaks English. We feel a little more comfortable exploring and venturing out when we are with them. There is a better sense of security with walking around with them. Up to this point the weather has not been too bad. We have jackets but we have rarely worn them. Benji and I ventured out to the market early today. It was an experience. The only thing recognizable was Coca-cola and you better believe we bought some. It is the best thing that we have had thus far.
This evening, as we went out to dinner, it was very cold. Then it began to snow! It wasn't a snow that would stick, just flurries in the air...but snow no the less.
We get to go back to see the boys one last time tomorrow afternoon. We are just hoping and praying that they warm up to us like they did the first day that we met them.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Not long after they returned. The care taker walked back in and said somthing and the boys hopped up and began cleaning up. (I am going to need to learn what she said:) Then we had to say our goodbyes for the day. As the boys were leaving, N turned around as we waved and said "paca-pace" (good-bye in Russian)...he came running back and held his hands up to me. As I picked him up he put his little arms around my neck. I could have lived in that moment forever. Then he went to Benji and did the same. D came back and with a little more hesitation allowed us to hug him but wasn't quite as quick to hug back. He is older so we were prepared for him to not warm up quite so fast. We were just thankful that he did let us play with him and he did let us hug him. The ride back to the hotel was a pretty quite one as we hated to leave so bad. Two hours is such a small window of time. I am so ready to get back to them in the morning!
Our translator told us that they did warm up to us very well and that it doesn't always go that smoothly. They have told us that the chances of us getting them home for Christmas is not very likely. I wanted to look at them and say "With the God I serve...all things are possible". I refrained, but I sure was thinking it. We know that it will be a long stretch...but the have them home for Christmas would be a definate miracle from God, and lucky for us...our God provides miracles!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Benji was been a little nervous this morning. He just laid around in the bed and was just not himself. I asked him if he was worried about the meeting with the Ministry of Education that we have in just a bit. He said no. I asked him if he was worried about meeting the boys in a few hours and he said no. He says he is really worried about getting on the next flight as there is no English spoken nor english signs in that airport.
Finally we got up and went to the hotel breakfast...which is free...praise the Lord. It was quite different. They had mashed potatoes, kidney beans, something that looked like sandwich meat and cheese, boiled sausage and several other things. I pretty much played it safe and ate mashed potatoes, some sliced cheese and a pastry. I did get a little bold and tried a thing that was labeled in english "steamed chicken" and it looked kinda like a meatball. Then I tried some kind of curd pancake. Both were pretty good. Benji played it super safe and stuck with a fruit cup and toast. The drinks they had were tomato juice, currant juice, milk ( and some of it was pretty thick looking...kinda like yogurt) and coffee.
After we ate we went to the ironing room to iron our clothes for the MOE appointment. Then we found the water coolers. So we loaded some cups of water and refilled our water bottles that we had left over from the airport (they advise you don't drink the water here). Other than the glass of juice at breakfast this was the first time we have been able to drink in about 24 hours. After 4 glasses of water and a power bar, Benji has now perked up and back to his normal self. He just said that he feels so much better. Praise God! I was getting worried about him for a little bit there. Poor fella was just hungry and in need of water. Now that we know where the water coolers are we will definately stay better hydrated.
We are just about to head to our MOE apoointment then on to meet our boys for the first time!!! I am so ready for this. We are just praying that they warm up to us quickly. We know that we are doing what God has called us to do and he has been with us every step of this journey. We know that he will be with us through this meetin and visit with the boys. We have been praying since we first saw their pictures that the Lord will begin to prepare their hearts for us.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The first leg of our trip was a 10 hour plane ride, which I wans't overly thrilled with. I am not a nervous flyer...but I do like my comfort. As we sat in our seats we had a moment of prayer. The entire take-off I just prayed that the Lord get our plane to Moscow safely, that he keep his hands around the airliner and get us there safely. And so he did. Do let me add that the total trip had a few different legs and each one we had to depend on others to get us to our destinations safely. When we made it to get our luggage and through customs without a single problem. It was honestly a piece of cake. Then our driver met us exactly where he was supposed to holding a sign that beared our last name. He "M", was wonderful! He was such a nice guy and made us feel so comfortable he rode us around the city of Moscow...which is HUGE! We rode by the Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral. We didn't stop as we have a whole day there at the end of the week. "M" took us to the next airport, walked us in and and showed us all he could show us. At this point we had 10 hours until our next flight. This part was not one of the highlights thus far, but we they had some comfy chairs and we didn't get a whole lot of sleep on the first flight so we snoozed (if you can call sleeping in an upright chair amonst hundreds of people chatting in a laguage that you don't even slightly comprehend). It really wasn't bad at all, just long. If I had it to do all over again we may have gotten a day hotel to rest at. Then, last night we caught our second flight which brought us to our region. That flight was 5 hours and at this point we had driven 3 hours to the airport, flown for 10 hours, hung out in the airport for another 10 hours and we had just has a couple hours of sleep. The flight was not bad, it was just very hot and very packed. Beyond that it was just fine. As we were landing, it was very dark and you could see the lights of the city. In that moment it hit me...our boys were right below us. It was an overwelming feeling of excitement. We have prayed for them for years and now we are closer to them than ever before.
We landed in our region and we were to have another driver meet us there. Well there was no sign bearing our last name....and people in our region do not speak English at all...nor could we find a phone. We really didn't wait long at all before our facilitator found us. We were so relieved as we were gettting a little nervous. Or flight was a little early thus they seemed late when they were really right on time. They brought us straight to our hotel. Then the Lord blessed me once again...we have free Wifi!!! We didn't expect this. My sister sent me with her laptop as it has a camera so that now...we can skype and see each other. We talked to Benji's mama and my mama and daddy. It makes me feel a gazillion times better to know that I can still see them and talk to them every day. We don't have a cell phone here and were fully expecting to only communicate via email....but the Lord knew my desperate need to see and talk to my family:)
Our facilitator "Y" gave us our itenerary for tomorrow (we have the day free today). We have our appointment with the Ministry of Education in the morning then we get to go see the boys!!!
I can not even begin to tell you how awesome God's mercy has been on us this far. He has made this trip far smoother than I ever expected. He as held us in his hands and gotten us here safely with added bonuses along the way. I just can't get over how awesome that God is, and I have no idea how I deserve all the blessings he has given to us!
So for now, we are going to try to nap a little bit then go on a search for food as the only things that I recognize on our hotel menu is boiled veal tongue. This should be interesting:)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I must say that I am beyond humbled by the amount of love and support that we have recieved from others. Benji had two of the guys that he works with follow him out yesterday and ask to pray with him. There in the parking lot at work, they held hands and prayed for this adoption. We have been stopped around town numerous times this week for people to tell us that they are praying for us. I am so overwelmed with the support that others have given here lately.
My mom bought Build-a-Bears for the boys and we will record our voices and put in them so that they can hear our voices once we are gone. I just want to send out a huge thank you to my parents for all that you have done to help us prepare for this trip. My daddy has made all travel arrangements, made double copies of our plane tickets and of our passports and visas. Mama has made sure the boys have gifts from home, as well as made sure that we are prepared for the cold region that we are headed to. I love y'all and will never be able to thank you enough for everything that you do for us!!
My dear BFF came by and brought me a hand made book of different adoption quotes and poems. I was going to save it for the plane ride, but me and my impatient self couldn't wait. It was so sweet. It will go to Russia with me. Thank you BFF...you are the best!!!
We are hoping and praying that we will be able to update the blog each day. Goodbye for now, hopefully next blog post will be from halfway across the world but so much closer to our boys:)
Monday, October 11, 2010
My daddy and mama were there every step of the way once again. From getting everything set out, to getting signs made and put out, to cleaning up. My daddy made BBQ and hash to sell...which proved to be a quite good money maker. So thank you daddy!! My parents have put so much elbow grease into our adoption and every fundraiser that we have had. We are so blessed to have you guys for parents and the boys will be blessed with the best grandparents this world had to offer!
We were also blessed with some amazing friends that came out to help. Renee, who is really more of family to me than a friend, worked so hard and stayed right with us on this yardsale. You are so special to us Renee and we love you dearly!! (and yes I just said your name twice...but you do so much for us that there is no way that I am not giving you a shout out for all that you do).
We also want to thank Joe and Mary for coming out and helping so much. They are yard sale masters and they worked so hard to get things set up. Then they were back the next morning to help sale. We are so blessed by friends like you. You guys touched are heart and we are so greatful for all of your help.
At church yesterday, Pastor Addison called us to the front for prayer. He couldn't have prayed a more perfect prayer for the journey we are about to go on. We were so touched and so thankful for such a great pastor and his family.
One of Benji's brothers called last night to check in and see how things went. He is heading to a prayer conference this week and wanted to let Benji know that the day we leave he is getting all the men to stop and pray for us.
We are so blessed by all the people that have sent up prayers on our behalf and that have been by our side through this journey. We are blessed with amazing friends and family. We are ever so grateful for those who are there with us every step of the way, who we never have to ask a thing from, but are just there. Even those who I know couldn't be there and I would never expect to be there, were still emailing and texting us to let us know that you were thinking and praying for us. I must say that I am one blessed gal! I have some of the best friends in this world. Without the support of our families and our very dear friends...we would have never made it this far. We would not be headed halfway across the world to meet what we are praying is the sons that God has for us, if it weren't for the constant love and support that God has sent us through our family and friends.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
If you guess drug pusher...you are wrong, however the picture may suggest otherwise. She brought over a "kit" last night for our trip. The only thing we don't have in this kit is the cure for cancer:) We have guaze, bandaides, anti-itch cream, hydorcortizone, aloe, cotton balls, q-tips, tape, eye drops, sinus blaster, Tylenol,Tylenol PM, aspirin, ibprofin, rolaids, night time cold meds, day time cold meds, night time sinus meds, day time sinus meds, pepcid, cough drops, immodium, hand wipes, hand sanitizer, kleenex, medicated lip balm, heat packs and anti-embolism socks.
The nurse in my mama just came out! As much as I have laughed at this, I am going to be one thankful person if I need any of it. Thank you mama for ALWAYS looking out for us.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This past weekend we began to work on the boy's room. My mama and dear friend Renee came to help us paint Friday night. Our beautiful neice Kristie came up Saturday to help us out in the boys's room as well. Then when I got home from work Saturday night I found intruders in my house. My mama and daddy had snuck over and were finishing up painting and putting the furniture in. Also the "adoption fairy" came and brought the boys a new dresser and hutch. I have the best parents in the whole entire world. They worked so hard this weekend to help us get the nursery ready. I love you guys so much and our boys are going to be so blessed with the best grandparents this world has to offer!
We still have a little while before we can bring the boys home but we have to take papers to submit to the court when we go in a few weeks for trip one. Now we have pictures of a cute little boy's room rather than a "guest bedroom". I'll post pictures soon when it is all done.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I can't tell you how excited that I am that we fianlly get to meet what we are already calling "our boys". I am so ready to see their little faces. I am beyond ready to get them home but I do have to be a little more patient. We get to meet them in a few weeks but it will be a few months before we can bring them home.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
2) During our date day. We went to an antique mall to rummage around. I found myself wandering around and I had lost the hubby...go figure! He snuck away from me to buy me a little treat, and it only cost him .50 cents.......
This my friends was a good day! A date with the hubby, bubblegum icecream, and a New Kids on the Block book, complete with several pictures of my beloveds:)
Friday, August 13, 2010
1) My dogs...who are the sweetest, snuggliest dogs ever. One of these dogs is like an added appendage to me. I can't do anything without her. Whether I am washing dishes, blow drying my hair or in the bed...she is attached to me 24/7. When I am home she is NEVER more than 3 ft from me.
2) My sequined zebra striped shoes. Ummm...sequins, zebra stripes and SHOES! Three of my favorite things all rolled into one item...this definately makes me smile:):):)
3) Multicolored staples...this way I never know when a new color is going to come out. It makes for a nice little surprise during the day! Don't laugh...I get my smiles wherever I can:)
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So here goes his three rules:
1) Our children will not be allowed to enter the kitchen shirtless. (this is a rule his grandpa enforced with him and he to this day will NOT even so much as walk into the kitchen without a shirt on). Also to go along with this rule he added, hats are not to be worn indoors.
2) One night a week will be family night. As long as our kids are under our roof they will participate in family night.
3) We will do Sunday lunches at home. No eating out for Sunday lunch.
There ya have it...Benji's 3 rules to child rearing! I 100% agree with each one but I have to laugh that out of all the things he wants to enforce, those are the ones that he picks. This, I must say is classic Benji...and I do love that man. However, I think it is quite obvious at this point who will be the disciplinarian and who will not.
Later I talked to my mama who had went back to check on BB (baby bird), she was worried about the hot pavement so she put BB in a shoe box and moved it into the shade. She gave BB some drops of water and BB hopped out of the box and into the bushes. Still MB (mama bird) was looking on.
Later in the evening, we went to make sure BB was ok and we couldn't find it anywhere. However, it was out there because now there was 2 mocking birds standing guard. They were squalking like crazy. Soon enough we realized that mama mocking bird AND daddy mocking bird were guarding BB. These birds never a once left their baby and that mama bird worked her tail feathers off all day long to constantly feed and protect her baby.
We finally found the baby and my mama put it is a strainer and put it in a tree to keep it a little safer. Mama and daddy mockingbird were there the whole time watching on. As soon as we stepped away from the baby, MB was in the strainer with here baby.
So I give you that long story just to say this...parents today need to be more like mocking birds. I see parents all over in public that are barely watching their children. This mama mockingbird NEVER let her baby out of her sight. She was super hyper aware of her surroundings making sure her baby was not in any danger. We live in a world today, plagued by some very scary people. People that will snatch your child up in a skinny minute. Mother's need to be constantly be aware of their surroundings and protect their children at all times. (I say this in light of seeing 2 amber alerts since Monday). Mama's need to fight like the mama mockingbird did to keep their children safe and nurtured. Also, daddys need to be there like the daddy mockingbird. He was right with the mama helping protect his baby. Parenting is a joint effort!
So that is my life lesson from the mocking bird family. The whole thing became such a lesson to me. The mockingbirds should be a model for all parents out there.
I am happy ( hopefully) to report that as of this morning the mockingbird family is gone. We are hoping that means they made it safely back to their home.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Benji works about 45 minutes from home. Me, being the worrier that I am, ask that he calls me every morning to let me know he has arrived at work safely. He being the great guy that he is, willingly complies. This morning...he forgot to call. Thus when I see that it was 15 mins after time for him to be at work and I had not heard from him, I began to worry. When I finally got in touch with him, I was, hmmmm.....let's just say not as nice as I should have been. HA! So when I get to work this morning this is what I had in my email:
Hubby: Dear The Love of My Life,
I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize for not calling you this morning when I arrived at work. I have no excuse for forgetting all I can do at this point is ask for your forgiveness.
(for anyone that knows Benji knows that he is completely being a wise guy)
Me: Dear my not worth a cuss husband,
I am not quite ready to lend you my forgiveness. You have to understand that your forgetting to call not only deprives me of my last little bit of good sleep, and not only does it cause me to panic, it hurts me deeply and emotionally. It can be perceived as a personal attack as if you are saying to me, “You are so forgettable” or perhaps “You are not worth 2 minutes of my morning”.
your still sulking and trying to overcome the deep trauma that you so caused me this morning, wife
Hubby: OK you win
Me: Your admitting defeat still doesn’t seem to ease the pain.
Maybe a nice home cooked meal prepared my none other than my not worth a cuss husband, on the table when I get home from work, as well as the dishes clean after the food consumption, will help relieve some of my suffering. I know that a completed load of laundry will help do the trick also.
Hubby: What if I bake some of your cakes can we call it even (bear in mind that he has more time off this week than I do and I have way over over extended myself with cake orders this week, and cake money goes into our adoption account so I had asked him earlier if he would do a lot of my baking this week. And note that he is always there to help me bake when I get myself in these binds...it's a common occurence in our home:)
Me: That job was previously requested prior to your infraction. Thus it does not count.
Hubby: OK here is my final offer I will arrange supper for the evening and give you the glory to remain my wife for the rest of your life.
Me: I’d rather be water boarded in a Mexican prison!
You may have to understand our sense of humor to find this humorous.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
At the end of my life, I want nothing more than to hear the words "Well done my good and faithful servant"....I do not want to hear, "You did try to follow me but you still did the things that you wanted to do without hearing me first". It is our prayer that the next referral that we get (and hopefully it will be soon), we will see the pictures and the Lord speaks to us so strongly in knowing that baby/babies are ours. So for now, we continue to wait and seek the Lord.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
To my daddy:
Thank you for being the best daddy that a girl could ask for. You have taught me so much about life and you have pushed me to be the very best person that I can be. One of the biggest gifts that you have given me is your love for your family. You love times when we are all together and you make those moments as often as you can.
Thank you so much for enforcing a good work ethic and independence on us. You have always lived by the saying "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." You have taught me to "fish" very well. Thank you for always requiring me to work. You never a once let any of us sit back and have a "free ride" so to speak. Thus, you have 3 hard working kids today don't go looking for hand outs, but rather try to hand out to others. Thank you for teaching us to not be burdens on others or to wait on others to do for us. (This all may not make much sense to some but I feel sure that my daddy will know exactly what I am getting at here.)
You raised us all to be financially independent. You have taught me so much about financial security. Now there are some lessons that I will not carry out, I can assure you I will NEVER put water in the ketchup bottle to stretch it, HA! You are extremely financially wise and I hope that I will carry that wisdom with me for the rest of my life.
You have always taught us to work hard and give everything that we do 100%. I am blessed to have parents who have taught me so much about life and how to work. Y'all taught me to cook and clean, you made sure that we knew how to grow our own garden, can our own produce, we can make our own jellies, get up cows, fix fences, and heck...I can even bush hog a field on my own (even though you fight me over who gets to use the tractor. HA!).
Thank you for always being there for us. No matter what we are doing in life, you are always right there pitching in, in any way that you can. You are there with me in everything I do for Kid's Camp, you are right with us when we do catering jobs, you keep our adoption account and the finances there, you have even helped me pipe buttercream roses once when I had so many to do. Thank you for being such a great daddy...there is not a better one out there. I love ya!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I got home Friday to a package by my back door. In it were the cutest monogrammed zebra striped burp cloths (she knows me quite well), with a sweet note from my dear BFF that said "Now you will be one chic mama!" This is not the first of little "packages of sunshine" (in her words) that she has sent for out little one. My BFF has been one of the most amazing supporters of our adoption ever! She has been there with me every step of the way physically, emotionally and spiritually. She is just the best and I love her so very much! Thank you so much Ashley for your constant support, you will never know how much it means to me.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
We were told back in January that we should expect a referral sometime in May or June (now with Russia, this is not a definate.) It could be much sooner and it could be much later. So, May is here, and now I feel like a complete slave to my phone. I won't go anywhere with out it. Every time my phone rings I think "Could it be?" This is not fun! Just a few months ago, I was dying to get out of the "paperchase" phase and into the "waiting phase". I truly thought that the waiting phase would be easier than the paper chase. Let me tell ya....not so. I am quite tired of this "waiting" phase. I do hope that the Lord forgives my increasing impatience.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
To my Mama:
Thank you for being one of the greatest gifts that I could ever be blessed with. You are the best mama a girl could ever as for. You are beyond just my mother...you are my best friend. Thanks for always being there for me. You have made me the woman that I am today (you may or may not even want to take credit for that, HA!!). You have taught me that it is far better to give then to recieve. You were and always are putting others ahead of yourself...a trait of a true giver. I hope that I am half as giving as you are. Growing up, you taught me how to cook, clean, do laundry, sew, iron....all the things that women should know. I thank you for teaching me those things when I was little because they do make me a be better person and hopefully a better wife today. I may not have appreciated learning those things when I was little, but I sure do thank you for it now. Thank you for raising me in church and teaching me what it means to be a true Christian. Thank you for raising me in a peaceful home, that was full of love. Thank you Mama for being the best Mama in the world. I love you!!
To my Mema,
Thank you for being such a great Mema and loving me the way that you do. I think you are responsible for my love of shopping! I used to love to go shopping with you. Thank you for always remebering to have ketchup and tomatoes when you serve me hamburgers (even though I did have to suffer that one ketchup and tomato-less burger when I was young, HA!!). Thank you for the fantastic birthday cakes that you used to make...especially the ones with the Barbie in them and the cake was her dress. Thank you for riding rollercoasters with me when I was little, and not making me go to school when I cried. Most of all thank you for being the Christain woman that you are and raising my mama to be the woman that she is today. Thank you for your prayers, I know that no matter what...I always have my Mema praying for me. I love you very much and am blessed to call you my Mema!
To my Grandma Callie (who is not longer with us):
I will definately say that I get my passion for cooking from you. You were an amazing cook, and I hope that I can one day just cook half as good as you! You always showed your love for your family with an enormous meal on the table. I find myself being just like that. You were one of the strongest and most independent women that I have ever known and I do hope that is something that I recieved from you. I did get a little bit (or a big bit, depending on who you ask, HA!) of your stubborn streak. You loved your children and grandchildren with all your heart, family was everything to you. Thank you for raising my daddy who posesses the same love for his family that you did. I find myself being more and more like you the older that you get, I just wish that I had your green thumb. You were a giver, you would do anything thing that you could for others, especially those in need. I miss you like crazy. You were an amazing Grandma and I always knew that you loved me no matter what. I love you Grandma Callie!!
So I just want to wish all the mother's out there a very happy Mother's Day! I also want to thank God for the Mother's that he placed in my life that have made me who I am today.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I know that I have said this before, but this waiting stuff is getting so hard. Patience has never been my virtue. I am honestly trying very hard to keep a good attitude and be patient. But let me tell ya, there are some days that I feel like I am going to loose my mind just waiting on the day that my cell phone rings and AWAA comes up on the caller ID. I really do try to not let myself think about it every minute of every day, but the more time passes the harder it is to direct my thoughts anywhere but to the day that we bring our little one home.
As difficult as the waiting has been and is becoming, I must say that I am thankful for it. Do I wish that the waiting weren't this long? Heck yes! However, I do feel that it has only strengthen my walk with God. It has made me have to reoly solely on him and to keep my focus on him and him alone. I feel like my walk with the Lord has become stronger then ever, and that is because this waiting phase (the whole adoption process for that matter), has made me see how great he is and to rely directly on him. For that I will forever be greatful for this "waiting" phase. I know that the Lord has us where we are right now for a reason. Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite verse ever!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Is it ok to have the desire to drive to Tennessee to find Torry and Nancy Hansen because I want to look them in the eye and ask them what in the heck they were thinking? Because I want to make sure that they understand the scope of what their bad decisions have done to that poor child as well as those of us who have put everything on the line and worked so hard to get to the point that we are at just to have it possibly snatched away.
Is it ok to want to crawl in a hole and scream...really loud?
Is it ok to have a moment where you just want to throw in the towel and say the heck with this, I have no fight left in me...I'm done!
Is it ok to feel defeated and exhausted and just plain feel crummy?
I am going to answer these questions for myself. Yes! It is ok...but just for a minute. So I have sat here for the past two hours and felt all of the above. Now I am going to put on my big girl panties, seek the Lord with everthing that I have and cast all worries on him.
For the past week, we have recieved numerous calls and messages of encouragement on this situation. Today, we have already recieved so many words of encouragement and people letting us know that we are in their prayers. This means so much to me. It means the world and then some to know that there are that many people out there that care. People that I would have have never expected have offered so much encouragement and it has truly lifted me up today. Thanks so much everyone out there for the support, it is more comforting then you will ever know!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Furthermore, want to say that I have the best family and the best friends in the world (in my humble opinion). Our support system is beyond amazing! My parents have always been behind us 100% and are following and praying so hard for this situation to get smoothed over. My aunt and cousinhas been such amazing cheerleaders for us. My aunt sent me a message yesterday to tell me her principal prayed for us over the intercom yesterday and that her school is keeping us in prayer. First off, prayer in school? Praise God for private school! Second, the whole school is praying for us? How awesome and uplifting is that. Hillcrest: You are awesome and we are so thankful to you! Shasha and Erin: You guys are such a blessing to us! My sister sent me a wonderful scripture that was what I needed to hear. Philippians 4:6-7, look it up. It was great. My friends are beyond awesome. They have sent me such positive and uplifting messages , emails and calls that have made me smile. You guys are the best and I love you!
So, for now we are left to keep on praying that adoptions are not stopped and that we can soon get our referral and get our little one's home. One couple with our agency recieved a referral at Christmas and had their court date today. The judge said "Dah"...which is "yes" in Russian. Thank you Lord for thier court success!! Hopefully ours will be not far behind:)
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I let myself get really frustrated last night. I allowed myelf to go into negativity and get into "poor me" status and question the Lord. I quickly realized that is exactly what the devil would want me to do. So I dried my eyes, and apologized to the man upstairs for my moment of weakness. God did not bring us this far to leave us hanging. He doesn't take you down a road then say "I got you this far, now you are on your own". Not the God I serve! He follows through! He will not leave us hanging....he will carry us and get us through!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Let me take a few steps back and be very open and honest. This waiting thing is really taking a toll on me. I didn't think that it was going to be this hard. In all honesty it wasn't so bad until March. I am so ready to hear something, I am just so tired of waiting. I'm beyond ready to get our referral and to get our babi(es) home. Just to think that they are out there and we can't do one thing to get them home right now can be agonizing at times. Then to have Easter, Mother's Day, and Father's Day all right here together....just let me say it is tough.
So I have been battling myself with this waiting phase and it is just wearing me out. Sunday, as I was sitting in church, our drama team did a drama to the song "Arise My Love". Just let me say that is one powerful song and our drama team did a fantastic job. As I was watching them, I began to think of all the pain and suffering that Jesus went through on the cross and how agonizing that it was for him. The Lord allowed him to endure that pain and suffering for a greater cause. So, I say all that just to say this: If Jesus can go through everything that he went through on the cross for me...then I can most certainly go through this waiting phase with a positive attitude!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Benji has been out of town this week. This is the first time that we have been apart in many, many years. Even when we were dating for the last 2-3 years, we still saw each other every day. Now we have been married for eight years and have never been apart. I am thankful that we are the type of couple that can be together and not “need” to be away from each other. I am more thankful that this week is almost over, because I am so ready for him to be home. I made cookies, vacuum sealed them and snuck them in his suitcase, and I had a letter with pictures for each night that he was gone. (which my BFF has picked on me so bad about). I was missing him before he was even gone. I don’t see how people that travel often do it. One week has almost made me a crazy person.
Before he left, I asked if by chance we did happen to get a referral while he was gone, would he rather I tell him over the phone or would he rather I wait until he gets home and tell him in person. He asked that I wait until he gets home so that I could tell him when we were together. When he was getting ready for the trip, I was hoping that we wouldn’t get a referral when he was gone because I didn’t want to have to wait to tell him. Now that it is here, I really do wish that I had such a surprise to give him when he gets home. It would have been a great treat after a long week.
We did get a call back on an adoption grant. We have sent several off and have not received one yet. So we are super excited to get a call back on one. We are just praying that something works out with it.
That’s all I have for now. Hopefully I’ll have something more one day soon. But for now we will continue to patiently wait…..
Monday, March 8, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I do have one source of comfort in this crazy process....my desk calender. I know that sounds insane. However, each day, I come into work and put a big "X" across the previous day. I sit back and think to myself "that is one day closer to bringing home our baby/babies". No, I am not trying to wish my life away here, I promise. But just to know that each day that passes is one day closer to getting our family home just makes me smile. I love coming in on Mondays and getting to cross out 3 whole days...it makes it seem like such a big leap to get to our "Gotcha" day. It is like Christmas to tear a month off the calender and start a whole new month:)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
1) Benji got a contract on a house and another in the works: It is not a very big commission but we are so thankful for it. Last year the real estate market was terrible in our town. When we began our adoption, we were counting on real estate to help us to be able to afford it. Well, real estate sales have not really come through lately but we are so so grateful that it is picking up as our greatest financial resposibility is soon to come. The Lord has always provided exactly what we needed and when we needed it. We went to an adoption seminar back in December and one of the speakers was saying that when they were talking about adoption they asked each other, "How are we going to afford it?" The other's response we "We aren't God is!". That has stuck with me ever since. Because honestly, we can't afford it, but we serve a God that can! We give him all the praise and glory for getting us this far as well as what he is still doing and going to do to help us get our baby/babies home.
2) Our crib bedding came in. YAY!! I know that it is a little too early to get this considering that we have no clue if we will get a boy or a girl. However, it was the only bedding that I have found that I love for a little boy and it was being discontinued so I went on and got it (on sale mind you) and if we end up not needing it then there is alway Ebay, right? I love the bedding though and was so tickled when it came in.
3) Along with that crib bedding, Benji and my daddy have decided that they are going to build a crib themselves. Yes, that does partly scare me, but my BFF's hubby built their crib and it is gorgeous! I am a sentimental kinda gal, and what could be more sentimental than your hubby and your daddy handmaking a crib?
4) I am thankful for my jobs. I honestly love my jobs. As we are getting closer to bringing home our babi(es), I know that I am going to have to give up two of my jobs. That excites me yet kinda makes me sad. Job # 1 (which I will definately be keeping) I have worked at since I was 15. I love what I do, but most importantly I love who I work with. For one, I work with my daddy. This to some could be a terrible thing but it works for us, and I would have it no other way. Secondly, I work with Renee. She has been there since the stone ages (kidding). We may drive each other insane at times, but I love her dearly. She is much more than a co-worker to me...she is family! She is kind of like my sister from anther mister. HA!! Job#2 I enjoy very much. I don't have to work very hard, and I get the opportunity to meet all kinds of people (sometimes that is a good thing sometimes it is not). Job # 3, has really come to mean a lot to me. I teach GED classes part-time. I love my students very much. They are all such wonderful people. Most of them really only need someone to root for them. It's not at all that they are quitters, or bad people. Most of the time, it's just a matter of others giving up on them. They just need someone in their corner to love them and help build their confidence, from where it has once been damaged. It makes me really sad to know that soon I will be leaving them. I just hope and pray that I was able to make a difference in some of their lives, because most of them have certainly made a difference in mine!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I also have noticed one of my former students posts a “daily happy” on her Facebook several times a week. What an awesome attitude to have! Thanks Lana! Thus making me think about how each and every day brings many “happys” that often do go unnoticed. I am making it my personal mission (however, I may not often post them) to seek the blessings and miracles that the Lord provides me every day.
Todays blessing: I just found out that my friend Tara and her hubby (mentioned in my previous post), just received their approval with AWAA (our adoption agency)! There was a little snag there for a bit, but the Lord was ever faithful and completely worked it out. We are so excited for them, and thanking the Lord in advanced for all that he is going to do and provide to help them bring home their little one!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I do want to take a minute to ask for prayer for a friend of mine, whom I just recently met but is very near and dear to our hearts. She and her husband are just beginning the adoption process and are feeling some of the emotional ups and downs right now. I just ask that anyone reading this take a minute to say a quick prayer that everything works out for them and that they get their approval soon.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
When I love, I love with everything in me. There is nothing in the world that I wouldn’t do for those in which I love. On the same hand, when someone that I love is hurt…I hurt. I don’t take lightly to it either. If someone hurts my family or my friends, I don’t sit back and take it. I will fight for those I love (of course I don’t mean physically). As a child, I was very attached to my parents, and still am for that matter, hence I live next door to them and I work for my dad. My family is my true heart (and there are some friends that fall in this family category….I am not on board with the old saying “blood is thicker than water, personally I think that is just hogwash!). If you want to see me turn into a pit bull real quick, then mess with my husband or my parents. I have always been quick to jump to my brother’s defense, even when I probably shouldn’t but he’s my brother and I can’t stand to see him hurt. My sister never really needed defending. She was always the type that could handle her own. I always admired that about her, and thus that desire to be a stronger person like her, has partly made me who I am today. For that I am thankful.
I am a flawed individual, but have yet to meet a person that is perfect. I admit that I am flawed but will not apologize for it because it is what makes me who I am. I do the very best that I can in life, and am proud of the person that I am. Even more than that I am thankful for those that the Lord has placed in my life that have helped me, supported me, guided me, loved me, and shaped me into the person that I am today. I don’t stand where I am today on my own merit, and I don’t for one minute take for granted those who have impacted my life the most.
In conclusion, as we are gearing up to hopefully soon become parents, I am so thankful that my child will be blessed with the same people that God has blessed me with to help steer and guide them in their life. I want my child to know that emotions are a good thing; it’s how you deal with them that you have to be aware of. I am not always the best with dealing with my emotions, but life is about learning. I want to raise my children to be able to express themselves. I want them to have the liberty to say what they are feeling, and to always be up front and honest. I want for them to always know that if they are going to say something about someone they need to be willing and able to say it to them, get it off their chest and then move forward. I pray that they have the courage to stand up for what is right and to support others in their lives, as I know they will have tons of support in their lives.
I know this is very random, but it really several independent thoughts jumbled into one. I tried to make sense of each thought but it didn't quite come together as I had intended. None the less it is from my heart.