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Showing posts from January, 2013

The World Shrinks

My husband's grandmother is a sweet little thing.  And I mean literally "little" when she would be pushing for 4 1/2' tall and 85 lbs.  Our little Bug (kid #3) takes after her great grandma's tiny stature but they both have a  great big heart and boundless understandings of the true treasures in life.  All of the grand-kids, and now great grand-children too, often measure themselves in comparison to "G.G" (Great Grandma) and near 8 or 9 years old, they've won the privilege to say, "I'm as tall as G.G."

G.G. has amazing stories to tell about her life growing up in a small town, her husband overseas fighting in World War II while she was home in the states giving birth to their first born son.  G.G. kept all the letters her husband wrote to her during the war including the one that read, "war over?" on the outside of the envelope.  He did make it home again to hold his little boy and the family enjoyed a simple life together.…

James 1:27

James 1:27 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Not at all that Todd and I are the 'pure and faultless' for pursuing an adoption or that we are going to get a big sticker on our "good deeds chart," but we do know the bigger picture that this verse has to offer. And that is the hope that points to Jesus. We know that even in our filth of sins and our deepest hopelessness, God sought us, loved us, and took us in to be His own. We see adoption as an earthly example of God's pursuit for us and our adoption into His family, the Kingdom of God.

"Pure and faultless religion'" means the most unobstructed way to know God's ways and glorify Him through this.
You may be asking, "so to know God is to take care of orphans and widows?"  YES.  Look deeper at what that is to take care of an orphan and the example that …

Sandwiches Teamwork Style

Along with the paper collection of our home study, appointments, and inspections, we are also preparing for our adoption with Ethiopia by preparing our biological children for the soon coming changes in the family.  The joining of a new family member is an exciting adventure as it brings a new personality to learn about, new temperaments to adjust to, and new likes and dislikes in that special child!  With all these little people living under one roof, there are times when mom is not so available to everyone at every moment.  
For me, meal time hits the top of the list of the times where I wish I could race into the nearest phone booth, spin around, and become Super Woman!  Well, I do have a pantry closet I could spin in and put an apron on!  That'll have to do.  
It probably doesn't help that I'm not very confident in the kitchen, not a great cook, and therefore not good at the timing of having all the meal ready at once. I try to adjust for this weakness by using one of my…

Organizing Adoption Papers

We're expecting! Can't you see the paper cuts? 

Just like you don't really get it when people say "time flies" until your older and you know that it does! Or "kids just grow up so fast" then you have them and realize how true that is! "If the shoe were on the other foot" then you find yourself in that very situation you were just criticizing.  The same is true for working through an adoption process.  We saw the list of the process, we read the blogs, talked to some friends who've been there, but you just don't get it 'til you've sat with a pile of papers and all these to-do lists.  The end result? Worth it.  

We have four biological children, so I'm just going to make the comparison that this on-going paper trail phase in the early processes of adoption are similar to the constant morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy!  It's always on your mind and effecting you (a good thing of course) because behind the …

The Three Hour Tour

(You have to sing this post to the tune of "Gilligan's Island"- it's an old show's theme song  for you young people)

This is a tale of a man and wife who had a heart to adopt,
They had their home study agent come visit the house today.
Questions were asked and rooms were inspected....A three hour tour, a three hour tour....

Ok, I won't torture you any longer with my song writing talents/lack of, but I did want to post about our passing this phase of our home study- drum roll please.... the home visit and family interviews by our case worker!  This was our second required meeting of three total required meetings.  The first was just an brief hello meeting and we met at a coffee shop.  The second meeting, well, that was today!  Our case worker came to the house to interview us the parents, and our two older children, Quinn is 9 and Roosky is almost 7.  She also had to interview our college renter/21 yr. old friend who is living with us, and then interview a re…

Message in a Bottle

We're adopting! Read all about it in the message in the bottle! This is an idea for announcing an adoption and for kicking off a coin drive fundraiser.  We have seen where people use baby bottles to collect coins for various fundraisers, but we don't know the age of the children we will be matched with, so a baby bottle just didn't quite fit. We decided to use a juice bottle for a coin drive fundraiser.

Most of our friends and family already knew our news about adopting from Ethiopia, but some non-internet folks still hadn't heard.  We took the juice bottles to our adult Sunday school class to  announce the news of our adoption and as a kick off to our coin drive fundraiser.  We've also been passing them out to friends at the kids dance class, local businesses we frequent, and friends at work.  We posted it on our face book page that connects to the google doc so that if someone is so inspired, they can print off the bottle label and start collecting coins!

The …

How are you preparing your biological children for adopted siblings?

Let me back up a year or so to how we eased in to the idea of adoption with our biological children.  Currently our bio kids are ages 2, 5 (just had a birthday!),6, and 9, so they are young.  We do have three close family friends who have adopted internationally so our children have those families to observe and just be around.  In a child's mind, those families are just that, a family.  This is a good thing of course, that the children know that families can look different from other families and each member can look different from the other.  But, I will say, our children didn't really know about adoption from these relationships, they knew about diversity within a family.   The families were already established and we weren't along for the processes of their adoptions.

In order to teach our children about adoption and acceptance of a child, we started on a easy level then slowly moved to the more difficult topics.  When I say easy level, I'm talking like the movie…

Encourage One Another

In preparing for adoption, one area that needs attention in our family is that of our biological children and the changes they will encounter.  We are gearing them up for their new siblings including the joys and challenges that comes with a new addition to the family.  Just like when we bring a newborn sibling home from the hospital, there are changes in the family dynamics.  We expect this change when bringing home their new siblings from Ethiopia!  Some things that we have found to help our family adjust to a new baby is to be sure we are geared up in the area of teamwork!  
The kids need to feel confident and secure in the fact that we are all here for each other, to encourage one another, to help each other, and to listen to each other when we need to talk, or just play with someone.  It's no secret that with a home schooling family of four kids, and more on the way, that mom isn't always available at the drop of a hat to serve iced tea on a silver platter.  We are build…

Bible Verses About Adoption

In you the orphan finds mercy. Hosea 14:3 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9 The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans. LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.Psalms 10:14,17-18 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families. Psalms 68:5-6 When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you…

Embracing the Snowflake

This is a lesson we used while home schooling our four children.  Take a look!  Our ultimate goal in this lesson and others we are doing, is to teach our children the beauty in differences among us as people and prepare them to embrace the uniqueness of others.  Diversity is a good thing and we are not all created the same.  Created with the same love? Yes! We want our children to love the diversity of creation, God's creation, and honor life even in the smallest of things.  We are starting with these simple lessons to open doors for conversations with our biological children about their soon coming Ethiopian siblings.  We want the children to feel free to talk to us about their questions, concerns, and interests in those who are different than what they know, feel comfortable with, and currently understand. 
Ok, that's the vision behind the lessons that we will be posting periodically, now let's get down to the fun of it!  
Here's what we did:  1. Spark Interest: It&#…

The White Glove Test

The Health Department came to our home today for our sanitation inspection required for our home study in the adoption process.  I was worked up about this in anticipation of a 'white glove' inspection so to say. (That's when the inspector wears a lab coat and white gloves then runs their glove across your shelves and sees how much dirt is there). All the while knowing I was taking this out of proportions, I still at least wanted the bathrooms and floors cleaned, and general clutter straightened up.  I held back from major overhaul cleaning mostly because I just don't have time to do that! 
The kids actually love to clean the kitchen floor because I give them all rags, a bucket of warm soapy water, and let them go to town.  No standing though, just crawling because as you can imagine, the floor gets overly wet and very slippery.  They think that's fun too.  We blasted my son's newest CD of Toby Mac and well, had a Mac Daddy of a time!  Buggy even thought a bat…

Expecting Inspectors

"When is Fireman Sam coming?" asked my boy while we were expecting the fire marshal to come for his inspection yesterday.  Fire Marshal Terry arrived in the mid-morning to do a walk-through, educated, and inspect for fire safety in our home.  Although the children spared Terry their impressions of a fire siren, they did play well together and helped in being tour guides through the house.  Terry asked the children questions like: "What would you do if you see a lighter or a match lying around?" and "Where is your family meeting place if there would be an emergency inside the home?"  Breathe in. Hold it. The kids answer correctly, wheww, release breath!  No, it wasn't too bad and the kids were very interested in learning more about fire safety in their home.

Todd and I are very fire safety conscious.  We had a kitchen fire in our previous home, and we also witnessed our neighbors home burn to ashes in a matter of minutes.  It was absolutely terrible an…