Tuesday, March 23, 2010

News and More News

Not only did we get an update on our sweet boy and 3 new pictures, we also received


We received an e-mail this morning saying that our LOA had been mailed and should arrive at BAAS on Wednesday. We received another surprise this afternoon when we opened an e-mail from BAAS saying our LOA actually arrived TODAY!! Day 61 since LID.

We are so thankful and have been lifting up our prayers of thanksgiving all day.

The update on Hudson was wonderful and had so much information compared to the one in November. He sounds like he will fit in just perfectly with our brood! Here is a glimpse into the personality of our little boy:

"He loves to play with toys and the alphabet puzzles. Sometimes he climbs
onto a furniture without toys on it like a little monkey. He can feed
himself with a spoon. He can put toys with different shapes into two different bowls. He knows the names of all the children in his room, and
can say their names. He can put on his own shoes. He has a relatively
strong personality. "

Now, we mail off a bit more paperwork and wait for a few more steps that I really don't understand because it is new - thanks to the Hague. I do know we should meet our son in the next 8 to 12 weeks. That means I have alot to do!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids Got Talent

Our local home school support group hosts a "Talent Night" each spring. This year was our family's 1st year of participating. The display of God -given talent was impressive.

Shelby and Fulton both played piano pieces. This is Fulton's 1st year of lessons,and we are so proud of his hard work. He enjoys playing the piano and did great at his 1st "Talent Night".

Shelby has taken piano for 5 years. She worked very hard to play Fur Elise by Beethoven in its entirety. She has progressed so much this year with her new teacher. Unlike her mother, Shelby actually enjoys practicing. She sits down at the piano numerous times each day to play and practice her pieces. Hopefully she will stick with it and use her talent all of her days to glorify God.

Katie sang "A City on Our Knees" by Toby Mack. She has never taken voice lessons, but she did amazingly well. In my book, she would have done an amazing job even if her singing had been atrocious. Just to stand on stage - alone - and sing. Her Mama sure doesn't have courage like that - not now or ever!

Our Littles wanted to display their talent as well - a little "BIBLE" with sign language was the act. Ethan was struggling with wanting the spotlight all to himself. This was after he had already sang 4 solos for us. We had a little word of prayer with him about pride and selfishness.

No word on LOA. Tomorrow is Day 60! Surely we must be close. We have not received any updates on Hudson either although we hope and pray for one soon.

Please pray for Isabelle: recently adopted from Kunming, where Ellie is from. ISabelle had heart surgery over 2 weeks ago and is still hospitalized. She has recovered well from the surgical procedure itself, but now she is fighting a bacterial infection and will require about a week of IV antibiotics. This family is precious and I know they are worn out from this ordeal. Please say a prayer for Elaine, Phil, Isabelle, and their other 4 girls, Torie, Michaela, Anna Grace, and Sarah Mei who are having to survive all this time without having their mom at home.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exciting News!

Did anyone think for a second that maybe we had our LOA??????

Nope, we are still waiting for that, but we do have some exciting news from the home front. . .
Lilly is reading! She has learned all of the letter sounds over the last year. Since I don't have a lot of free time on my hands (can we say "understatement"), I had not been working with her on reading. Last week I spoke with a long time homeschooling mom, and she reminded me that her 3 children all were reading at 3 1/2. She encouraged me to work with Lilly - in a very relaxed way. So one night after dinner, Lilly and I sat at the kitchen bar with magnetic letters. Talk about effortless! She started reading those 3 letter, short vowel words like "cat, sat, pot, mat, bat. . . It was so easy compared to my 4 older kids. A little positive peer pressure may be just what big brother Ethan needs to motivate him to try a little harder with his own reading!

Wait - there is more. . .
Not to be outdone by her older sister (by only 11 months), Ellie starting saying "I want to read" the night that Lilly and I worked with those magnetic letters. We practiced a little that night and then tonight she read her 1st book. Way to go Ellie!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Here No More

Before Christmas I was inspired by another adoptive mom, Melanie, whose blog I follow at http://www.the30dayjourneyforhope.blogspot.com/, to spend my time more wisely - doing things that really matter. . .that will have an eternal purpose perhaps. Melanie shared about an afternoon that she and her children spent at a nursing home and how that one visit really changed their perpective. After reading that entry, I was motivated to do the same so one of - no make that my only - New Year's Resolution was to begin a nursing home ministry with my oldest children.

I believe our 1st visit was the very 1st Sunday in January. We had gathered several small bottles of lotion, some leftover candy canes, and a few "Daily Bread" devotionals, and we set off to spend an hour or so with the residents of our local nursing home. I don't like nursing homes. The smell has always bothered me and although I knew we needed to make that visit, I was a little uneasy. I prayed for our 1st visit to go well so we would all want to return in 2 weeks. God surely answered my prayer. We visited with several residents including my great-aunt Vi. I am ashamed to admit that I had never visited her before, and she lives only 10 minutes from my home. On our first trip, we also met Ms. Lillie, Ms. Alice, and Ms. Betty Jean. What a blessing it was to spend an hour or so visiting with these precious ladies. After leaving, Shelby, Katie, Fulton, and I were reflecting on our time there and that while it surely didn't cost us much of anything other than a little time, the reward was indeed great.

I am happy to say that we are still visiting the residents every other Sunday. Only 3 weeks ago, we met a lovely 91 year old member of our church who was residing at the home although we did not know this during our first few visits. Ms. Susie was a delightful and lively lady. Although she was 91, she quoted a precious poem to us about 2 little kittens who were fighting but in the end decided it was better to get along with one another. This poem was so long, and I was simply amazed at her ability to remember it after so many years - her mother used to tell it to her to encourage her and her siblings to get along. Last Sunday at church, we were told that Ms. Susie was in the hospital with kidney failure. We were so disappointed as we had planned on visiting with her that very day. This past Wednesday, Ms. Susie died. Shelby, Katie and I were saddened and shocked. As I have been reflecting on her death these last few days, God has reminded me of how quickly death can come. We took for granted that we would see Ms. Susie again, but we did not have the opportunity. However, I am so very thankful that God allowed me the blessing of meeting Ms. Susie and to think that I almost missed my only chance. She lived for 91 years yet I only met her 2 and a half weeks before her death. A gift from our Lord no doubt.

Today we made our visit to the home, and as we were heading to Aunt Vi's room, we saw where Ms. Gladys' room was empty. Ms. Gladys was another dear lady we met on the same day we met Ms. Susie. Later we found out that she too had died this week. Again, another reminder to live in the present as we do not know God's plans for our future. The present moment is all that we are guaranteed. The "present" is indeed a gift and one that we should treasure. Instead of running to the next "thing" on our list as I am so guilty of doing, we all should take time to enjoy this gift of the "present" that God has given to us.

Dear Lord,
I thank you for the gift of the present. I thank you for the gift of meeting one of your precious saints only weeks before you called her home. I pray that this week I will take the time to enjoy each and every moment you give to me and not take for granted that tomorrow will come. I pray for each person who reads this that they too will purposefully choose to live in the present.
May we each seek to bring you glory as we tend to those who are less fortunate than ourselves - the widows, the homeless, the orphan, whoever it is that you place in our paths. May we take the time to minister to them just as Jesus did 2, 000 years ago. May we not pass by the moment assuming there will be another opportunity. In the name of Jesus, Amen.