Sunday, September 30, 2007

J!!

Well, since I've already done posts about R and A I thought it fitting that I do a post on J today. Today is his 10th birthday! We've been in the process for over 2 years now and J was only 7 when we first began to think that he was the child that God had for us. I can't believe he's 10 now. I had a HARD time with this yesterday. Sometimes I'm afraid this process will drive me nuts. I was staining/putting polyurethane on some trim boards for around the staircase and I was just crying. This is so hard. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I'm not sure it ever will. I was actually angry at God and angry at the people in Haiti who are exerting their human power of position over our lives and preventing our son from coming home. It's been 4 months of waiting in MOI for a signature so that we can apply for the passport. It's insane. Anyway, I started thinking, what should I be doing in this situation? It came to me that I should be praising God anyway so that's what I did. I'm praising God that J is still alive to celebrate another b'day, even if he's not with us yet. Some other kids have passed away during the adoption process. We just never know what the day holds so today we are celebrating J's life.

He is a silly kid. One of the other adopting moms told me that she was visiting her child and helping another little girl do homework. J kept pestering them and she told him shoo, shoo, go play somewhere else. He sulked away and then she heard this awful crying in the other room. She went to find out what was going on and J was crying and said, "You called me shoo shoo." Come to find out, shoo shoo means girlfriend or girly boy. Whatever you do, don't call him shoo shoo.

This kid has one of the most expressive faces I've ever seen. There is no doubt how he's feeling because it's written all over his face. That eyebrow line can shoot up or scrunch down like you've never seen. He likes to make little jokes. The first time I met him, he locked me in the bathroom (with R's knowledge). He would always ask when we were going to do something. I'd tell him and then the eyebrows would shoot up or down depending on the answer. If the time was too long for him to wait, he'd say, "I can make time go faster," and then he'd move the hands on the clock. The kid can't read but he can tell time, general time anyway.

He loves to tickle and be tickled. That was one of the first things that the O director told me about him. His laugh is so cute that you want to make him laugh all the time. He was playing flashlight tag with T about 10 minutes after they met. Tickling was part of the game somehow.

I love his accent and the way he phrases things. He would always say "open it" for "turn it on." T says that's the literal translation. He also would say "here is it" instead of "here it is." And all the kids at the O like to try to trick you and then another one will say "is not true" which always comes out sounding like "ees not twue" with the emphasis on "ees". They were surprised at T's creole. At first J told him not to speak in Creole. Apparently he wanted his American daddy to speak in English. Then the Creole really came handy later and J was okay with it. The flight from PAP to Cap Haitian only takes 23 minutes. J grabbed his ears when we were taking off. I showed him how to pop his ears by opening his mouth wide. He spent the whole ascent opening and closing his mouth repeatedly. He was surprised to see the clouds right out the window and he wanted to open the window. He quickly got bored with the clouds and laid his head in my lap. By then we were descending and I told him to look for grandma. He popped up and looked out the window and said, "We are finished?" He's hysterical.

I tried to upload more pics of him but it takes so long and it times out. We have DSL but it's the cheapest, slowest DSL you can get. Anyway, here a few pics;

Look at those pecs on that scrawny little body! The date stamp on this pic is correct.

This is from Christmas time '06. The "camera smile" is firmly in place. Look at the scrawny legs.



I'm not sure why but this is one of my favorite pics of J. Love those dimples. And I love that he's trying to blow that thing and smiling at the same time. He had fallen and scraped his neck at that time. It was May or June '06.


Here he is with G'ma and G'pa.
And here with daddy and little A blowing bubbles in G'ma and G'pa's backyard.
We think this little guy is pretty special and can't wait to have him home with us. Keep praying. Happy B'day J!! We love you!

Friday, September 28, 2007

More ramblings

Wow, where do I start? There's so much in my head. I was really pumped on Thursday about the O-wide prayer day. I ended up working all day and not getting to pray as much as I wanted to. I knew I was scheduled to work it's just that the other day I ended up doing methodical work that allowed more adoption prayer time. An acquaintance through work (whom I really liked but not really "friends" per say) passed away that day too. Then A had 4 A's, a B and a really bad grade on her first 6 weeks report card. You know, the high school ones that matter for like, the rest of your life. A is definitely not all to blame as the teacher forgot to record a grade and then when A brought it up the teacher asked for the paper and A had already thrown it away. It's a frustrating situation to say the least. Didn't make for a great day. We didn't get any adoption news either. Sigh...nor today. Sigh... I was very encouraged by the songs and verses that the other adopting mothers posted on our group chat site. Good stuff.

We did go to visit a private Christian college with R today. It took some curvy roads to get there. About 1 3/4 hours of the 2 1/2 it took to get there were the kind of curves where you meet yourself going the other way about half way around the curve. T seems to like watching us grab on to the armrests as he sees just how fast he can take the curves. We drive a van for crying out loud, not a sports car. He was complaining about the people in front of us going too slow, but I think God put them there. They were really angels.

The college has awesome people, awesome teachers and an awesome atmosphere. Everyone was so polite and friendly. We went to a chapel service that was really good. We also got to sit in on a Musical Theater class. There are two things that are important to R that they don't offer; there is no equestrian program and no visual arts classes. Finances would be a potential problem too but we had no idea how we'd ever pay for an adoption either. I know that God will provide if He wants R to go to this college. There are only about 800 students and the teacher to student ratio is about 1 to 13. All the kids and teachers seemed to know each other and interact well together. When we walked into the admissions office there was a big TV screen that had the names of the visiting potential students. We walked up the steps just in time to see R's name on the screen.

We stopped at a roadside pumpkin stand on the way home. They had every kind of pumpkin, squash and gourd you could imagine and some that you couldn't. We got some squash, tomatoes, apples, plum jelly and apple butter. I asked if it was a farmer's market and the lady seemed a little miffed. She said her and her husband grew it all. Wow. You'd have to see this place to be as awed as we were. I heard her tell someone that "them tomaters ain't from Florida, we grew them right up chonder". Too funny.

When we got home R had some mail. One thing was from the local state college with an application for her to be part of an honors program. Only 20 students each year get to be in this program and they sent R an application! Wow! It would pay her tuition and fees for all 4 years and give her $1,000 per year for books. Wow! She is definitely applying for that.

J's b'day is Sunday. I never dreamed he wouldn't be home. It's looking like he'll miss the family vacation too. It makes me sad. This process is so frustrating. The kid was 7 when we started actively pursuing the adoption. He turned 8 just before we commited to him. He'll be 10 Sunday. I'm just not "getting" it right now. Sigh...We've been waiting for this signature to apply for the passport for 4 months now. 4 months. That's 17 weeks and two days. It's absurd. I think I better not continue on this thread. I might go crazy.

I'll talk about the cat, Sanome (pronounced sanna-may, we often call her "sanna"). She has an incessant habit of rearranging the food and water bowls. I bought some of that sticky, rubbery shelf liner stuff and cut pieces of it to put under the bowls. Ha! She got her bowl up on to the wood floor from the linoleum and pulled the rubbery stuff out and moved it across the laundry room. Then she proceeded to spill the entire water bowl. It wouldn't move and she had always moved it in the past so she just kept trying and it finally tipped. She also scoops out pieces of food and chases them all over the house before she eats them. In the process of getting one out to chase, she pulls several out. You can't walk in the laundry room without the crunch of cat food or kitty litter. Yes, I know. We have weird cats at our house. We refer to them as "neuro-kitties" when they exhibit their odd little behaviors. Well "Numbers" is on. Gotta go.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prayer day on Thur.

All of us waiting parents from our O are having a prayer day on Thur. There are over 70 kids at our O somewhere in the process of adoption. About 20 or so of them are waiting in MOI just like us. One of the other moms who is waiting in MOI declared a prayer day on Thur and the rest of us are jumping in both feet. We know we can't "strong arm" God but I do believe in prayer. We are told to pray. Phil. 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I also want to share the words of an old Allison Durham song that has helped me through this crazy adoption process. Will you join with us on Thursday with prayers for the adoption process in Haiti?

THEY THAT WAIT
by Tim Pedigo

Chorus;
They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings like an eagle
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint
There’s an answer for those who will wait

Verse 1;
Through the tears of sorrow through the depths of despair
I heard a voice calling, “Come and draw near.
For I’ve heard your petition and I’ve heard every prayer
Now trust in my power and wait.”

Verse 2;
He understands frustration. He’s aware of your needs
He’s faithful to answer those who believe
For His timing is perfect it’s a part of His plan
So trust in His wisdom and wait

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The wait

This is one of those days when the wait seems interminably long, impossible to stand any longer. How much does God really think that I can take? I want to scream and cry, I do cry, I am crying. Why God? How is this good? Are You really in control? Will this child and the hundreds others like him ever come home? Obviously he's going to miss another b'day with us. It seems like he'll miss the family vacation too. How is this good? Are we so awful that we don't deserve to have him home? Are we awful people unable to parent this child? It's just too hard. It doesn't make sense. Then I think about his birth mother. Does she cry out to God for the choice she had to make? Does she wonder why was she born into poverty and why her child was born into the same poverty? She had to make the choice to give her child up. She loves him so much that she's giving him over to us, to raise as our own. Does she ask God why? At the same time we are praying "Lord, bring him home soon" is she praying "Lord, just a little longer?" Does she wonder if she's an awful person, unable to parent her child, without the resources available to her to do that task? She asked us to raise this child to be a man that people look up to. Do we have the resources to do that? Are we capable? One thing comes to mind; when I (we) are weak, God is strong. Please Lord, give us strength. Please Lord, bring J home soon and give his birth mother peace.
2 Cor. 4:17-18 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen in temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A!! (and a couple pics of R's critters)

A is daughter number 2. She loves life. She is a freshman in high school and is thrilled to finally be in high school. She loves the theater and is a pretty good little actress. She's not afraid to try. She played "Ratty" in "Wind in the Willows" and that was her favorite part in a play so far. When I dropped her off for the first practice, I went and ran an errand. When I got back she had an "Oh my gosh. What have I done?" look on her face. I asked her what was wrong and she said she got a main part. She started flipping through the book and said, "I've got like...(more flipping)...a hundred lines!" This is the child who had trouble memorizing anything. We even offered her gift cards to memorize Scripture. She never did. She had a chance to get money off camp tuition by memorizing Scripture and decided to work it off instead. She had her lines down for Ratty within a couple weeks. R helped her a lot. Apparently she can memorize if she wants to.

A likes fashion design and looking fashionable. She will spend lots of time with me in Goodwill and consignment shops and is an excellent bargain hunter. She also cuts things up and "re-makes" them how she wants them to look. She is an easy going type person for the most part and gets okay grades. She is okay with okay grades. It does bother her if she gets a very low grade.

She is pretty in pink. When we painted her room it was supposed to be a light pink. It turned out much darker than we had intended. It looked like Pepto Bismol. We (T and I) made the decision to add white to it and lighten it thinking she wouldn't notice. When she saw it she said, "Boy, that second coat made it look a lot lighter." Of course we had to tell her the truth.

A has never been a "color in the lines" type person. I may have mentioned that already. When her Kindergarten teacher sent a note saying she needed to color in the lines better I pointed out that A was embellishing the pics to suit her personal taste. She colors our world, that's for sure.

When she was 3 it was quite apparent that she had some serious speech problems. She used all the vowel sounds but only about 5 or 6 consonant sounds. She also used the wrong pronouns and connecting words and she called things by what they did or what sound they made. She had a year and a half of speech therapy and was doing pretty good after that. I remember one day picking her up from speech class and her teacher told her to tell momma the word they had worked on. The teacher was so proud. A looked at me and said, "Dafbub!" They had worked on compound words and she had "bathtub" down until I got there. She has come up with quite a few things over the years. Some of my favorites are; Mark, Luke, and King Jr. Day(Martin Luther King Jr.); telling me about the tree she got at school for "Abor" day (arbor day); asking me if she could wear her "tacky" (khaki) pants; or "What's Mrs. Mullins last name?" or "Mom, I had a burp that rattled my head!" or when we were eating chicken and she said, "This tastes like chicken." She was serious. I could go on and on with these. She is our comic relief and we love her for it. She has a great sense of humor and can be absolutely hysterical. She takes the ribbing that comes with her funny sayings pretty well.

She works for my mother, helping to clean the house and doing gardening. Mom and A went shopping yesterday and I'm sure between the two of them they laughed the whole time. Here's a few pics of A. They were taken by R.

This is with my horse. A rides her quite a bit now.

This is with her cat, Misty. Yes, Misty is the one who attacks Sanome. She's usually so laid back. I can't figure out why she behaves that way. My parents gave A some money for her birthday one year and we teased that she would have it spent before the end of the day. Money burns holes in her pockets. Well, she ended up spending the whole wad that day adopting this cat from the Humane Society. She has a soft heart.


This is with her dog, Oreo. Oreo was named when we got her and how could we call her anything else?

Another one with Oreo.

Here's pic of R's dog, Trixy, who was also adopted from the Humane Society. T calls her Trixy, Licksy. As you can see, she has a huge tongue and knows how to use it.

And this is a pic of Sanome sleeping soundly on my diaper project fabric. Maybe she's dreaming of a world where Misty doesn't try to beat her up.

Well, that's it for now. Isn't A something? We love you babe.

Sweet sleep, until...

Thank you, Lord, I slept better last night. No lights doing strange things. No foggy head (no more than usual anyway) or fuzzy eyes today. I woke up when T came to bed and a couple times other than that but always went right back to sleep. Until the cats started their mess. Misty and Sanome do not get along. Misty was here first and she thinks she is end all, be all. She doesn't think she should have to share anything. She goes through times where she attacks Sano for no apparent reason. Sano does nothing to provoke her. Other times she's just fine and they stay out of each other's way. They are both spayed so I wouldn't think it was hormonal, but one has to wonder. Anyway, they woke us up early Thur morning doing the hissy, growly, cat fight thing. I hollered to them to "fight nice" but Misty attacked again. Misty spent Thur night outside and then they woke us up early this morning doing the hissy fight again. I figured I had to save Sanome so I got up and stubbed my toe. When Misty heard me coming she slunk across the office floor and got in the window sill. I picked her up by the scruff of the neck and headed to the door with her. When I walked by the cat box the smell hit me and I realized that Misty had attacked while Sano was using the litter box. Oh, nasty! Sano got two little plops on the floor and some smeared down the side of the dryer. These are not my cats mind you. They are the girls cats. They cleaned up the mess. My cat was outside being a good boy. We love Misty and she has such a great personality. You couldn't ask for a better cat-unless she's try to kill Sano.

We went out to eat after church today. We don't do that a lot because we just don't have a lot of spending money. My mom left a message on T's cell phone that the goat was in with the horses and did we do that on purpose or did she get out on her own? She was not supposed to be in with the horses so we watched for her on the way up the driveway. Sure enough, there she was out in the pasture following Bridget around. We called out to her and she looked at us. I asked what she was doing out there with Bridget and she looked up at Bridget, like she knew who I was talking about. We'd call her and she'd start to come and then Bridget would walk away and Lillybet would follow the horse. Bridget kicked at her once or twice and Lillybet just thought it was part of the game. This little goat has never been sure if she's a human or a dog, but she knows she's not a goat. Now she thinks she is a horse! R finally got "houdini" rounded up an we have her doing some landscaping in the back/side yard. She clears out anything green from about 3 feet down. R is working on the pen, again.

I'm going to try to get a post done on A later today. R was going to take some pics but is now working on the goat pen. We'll see if they get any pics made. Such is life in the zoo.

Amy

Saturday, September 22, 2007

J's B'day pics

No, his b'day's not until next weekend but we sent his gifts down with another adoptive mom. Here is a pic holding his gift bag. I call that smile his camera smile. If he's really smiling it shows his teeth.

Notice all the kids line up whenever someone gets a gift. They don't try to take it from them but notice the hands out.


And here's another pic with the shirt my parents gave him last summer. The overalls were not originally part of the outfit.
Well, I finally feel worse than usual. I haven't slept well since I came off of elavil. I got some samples of rozerem from the doc and tried one last night. Not good. I'm taking them back to him. Because of the fibro I don't have trouble falling asleep, just staying asleep. I wake up in pain and can't go back to sleep. Elavil, low dose at bedtime, worked great for years but they think that's why the liver function tests are abnormal. Anyway, the stuff I tried last night kept me awake, then I slept for an hour and then was up for two more hours or so. I read and then I laid there and watched the night light in the bathroom go dimmer, brighter, and back to dim. I don't know if I was just tired, if the light was really varying or if it was drug-induced. Today I kept blinking to see if my contacts were in and I had major brain fog. Abe and the beaver can keep their rozerem, I'm taking the samples back to the doc. My throat has hurt since I took the pill too. I don't know if it's related or a coinkydink. I need to sleep, I do know that.
We got the desk set up in J's room and the railing and hand rail on the stairs are finished now. We still have to trim, stain and poly around the actual opening. It's pretty much ready if J ever gets here. Please Lord, let it be soon.
Amy

Friday, September 21, 2007

Newest pic



This is the newest pic we have of J. Another adoptive mom took it while visiting her child. I wasn't sure at first if this was J because of the angle but when I looked at his eyebrow line I knew it was him. His eyebrow line is very distinct and he knows how to use it. He scrunches them down and that seems to make the lips come out into a pout. If he's excited about something the brows go way up and the mouth goes into an "O". There's no doubt what he's thinking or feeling because his face is very expressive. He's wearing a shirt that my mom sent down to him when R and I visited last summer. It's kind of ironic that he's wearing the shirt as he gives most things away. I miss him so much. Please bring him home, Lord.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Today



This happens nearly every day at our house. Both of these cats like to get a "sink drink". Misty is afraid of the running water so she prefers a cup or her sippy cup as shown in a previous post. Sanome likes to drink from the actual stream and Dexter likes to lick up what gathers in the sink. He basically gets her backwash. I don't know why they don't drink from a dish like normal cats or for that matter why we indulge them, but we do. When we built the house we had double sinks put in the master bedroom. We thought it was going to be his and hers. Hah! It has turned out to be theirs and ours. Sigh...

I spent a LOT of time praying today about our adoption process. We've been in MOI for 3 1/2 months, or 16 weeks, or 113 days, however you want to look at it, but who's counting? We've been waiting all that time for the signature that allows us to get a passport printed. It's insane. I pray that the Lord softens Mr. Guinard's heart (or Giungard, however it's spelled) and he signs us all out. This was one of those days that would drive me nuts if I dwelled on it too much. I did pray a lot. I had some nice prayer time while putting address labels on postcards at work. You don't have to think about that, just peel and stick. It made for nice prayer time. It was one of those days when it feels like J will never get here. I just don't understand how this is good but I have to trust and obey. He will be 10 in 10 days and I never dreamed that he wouldn't be here by now. Each month I get my hopes up that he'll be here for this or that and it never happens. I thought he'd be here before last school year ended so that A would be at the school with him for a while. Nope. I thought he'd be here this summer so we could bond before school started. Nope. I thought he'd be here when school started this year. Nope. I thought he'd be here for his 10th birthday. Not lookin' to good for that. Next month, it's a family vacation. November is Thanksgiving. I wonder if he'll be here for Christmas. I just don't understand it but I may not understand until I see God face to face. I'm a "big picture" type person. I want to know the "whys". Why is this good to wait so long? Why is it good for J to not be with his family? I usually read ahead in books because I can't stand the not knowing. My mom does that too. T says it ruins it for him and can't understand why I would read ahead. It's because it drives me nuts to not know. I want to know where they're going and then read how they got there. But I don't get to know how this turns out. I try to be thankful. I thank God that J's in good O, I'm thankful that he's healthy, I thank God for financial provision. It all comes down to the fact that I have to trust and obey. That's so much easier said than done. I believe Lord, help my unbelief.

Healthwise, I think I feel improvement in the sinus issue. Not so much junk draining down my throat. Sorry if that's gross. Maybe it would be down-graded from "profound" to "lots" if the doc took a look. I truly miss the good effects of the elavil on the fibro and related sleep problems. Gotta have a liver though. I got some samples of other meds to try from the doc today. We'll see. I'm a little leary of trying much of anything. Especially with the antibiotics and congestion stuff I'm taking. Sigh...

Someone from the local theater called R and asked her if she'd be in another play. She had tried out for it but didn't get a part. Apparently she was on the "reserve" list and they decided to call her. So now she is in two plays and A is in the other cast of one of those. Three different rehearsal schedules. It's a good thing R can drive. If only T got the truck on the road, then R could have the Jeep.

Amy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Praise

I guess I can share this now. I had some regular bloodwork done last Friday. They called Monday evening and told me to follow-up with my regular doctor because my liver function was abnormal. I called Tues. morning and they wanted me to come in right away. That's always scary. He said my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was nearly non-existent as well as the liver stuff. Then he also decided that I had "profound" sinus drainage. I could have told him that without him looking. Anyway,they tested me for hepatitis but also took me off elavil. I take a small dose at night to help with the fibromyalgia pain and sleep disturbances. They called this morning and I do not have hepatitis, praise God. I didn't sleep very well without the elavil but that's better than hepatitis. I also had been taking iodine tablets to increase my T4 free cells and they think that doing so tricked my body into thinking that it didn't need to produce TSH. My T4 free cells were at the very top of normal, almost over. So I'm off the iodine now too. I'm to be re-tested in a month and see where things are at. I'm praying that they will be fine and that I can find a way to sleep better. The nurse is checking with the doc on that but I'm not sure I want to take more meds at this point. Between the thyroid stuff, liver stuff and sinus stuff I'm supposed to be sick and tired. I don't feel any worse than usual. I don't know if I should be glad that I don't feel worse than usual or sad that I always feel sick and tired. Anyway, I'm praising God that I don't have hepatitis.
Amy

Pics from Haiti and the O

This is one my favorite pics ever. This was in Cap Haitian outside the hotel we went to for swimming and lunch. It is a three-wheeled hot dog stand. In the front is one bike fork with a wheel and in back there are two bike forks kind of welded together with a cross piece. The propane tank is sitting on a place made for it and there is a hose that runs from the propane tank to the "griddle area" where the hot dogs are kept warm. Condiments are available in the bike basket. Gotta love it.



"Come to my shop. I ha evwyting you need. Best pwice. Come to my shop."



Q. How many animals are eating off this garbage pile? A. Six. 4 dogs and 2 goats.


Q. How many Haitians can you fit in a Tap tap? A. As many as need a ride. They have money, they can ride. Haitians are so unaware of personal space. It does not exist for them.



Streets of Port-Au-Prince.



More from the streets of PAP.




Kitchen at the O. Q. What are the chairs lined up for?

A. The kids take turns with kitchen duty. Note that the cabinets have no face on them. That way they don't have to open the doors and they don't get in the way.
Okay, I really need to get some things done.

More pics of Dexter

Everyone seemed to like the pics of Dexty in the shoe box. This cat loves to be on/in anything he can find that he remotely thinks he can "fit" in. All of these pics were just in the last month or two so he is often found on/in things. He just doesn't seem to remember that he's as big as he is. This is Dexter on a piece of paper. "On" meaning some part of his body is on the paper.



Here he is in another box. We had cut the side of it for some reason but he still thinks he is "in" the box.


Back view of the same box. See, some part of his body is in the box so he is "in" it.
Okay, he is not on paper here nor is he in a box but I love it when he sleeps like this. He has his head down with his nose between his paws. His paws have kind of slipped but he is "out of it".
So those are my Dexty pics. Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Acorns, grays and horse update

It is fall here. The acorns are falling off the trees. Sometimes they plunk so loudly on the metal roof of the carport that it sounds like the whole thing is coming down. We wondered if there would be many acorns because of the late frost and then the heat and drought this summer. I just started noticing them today so we'll see how many fall. They're pretty loud on the house roof too but it's shingled and insulated so the sound is more muffled.

When I was pregnant with A, it was a pretty tuff pregnancy. I ended up with a few gray hairs and I was only in my mid twenties at the time. I'm told that stress will turn your hair gray. I've had a few more over the years and just plucked them out. Since we started down the adoption road two years ago, I've gotten several gray hairs. Sigh...I've been plucking them out but if I keep going that direction I'll be bald. I can't keep up with the darn things any more. I tried one of those temporary home color kits this summer. A helped me with it. Apparently I'm not good at home color jobs and it was stressful. Plus it just turned the grays blond. Better than gray, but they still stood out. I finally decided to just let them be for now and color them when I'm forty. Look out grays, forty is coming up quick!

Bridget the horse has had a relapse. She was doing well for about 4-5 days but she seems to be abscessed in one or both front feet again. We'll have the farrier out soon to check on them. The hooves grow out and then splay so they have to be trimmed very regularly to keep her off the soft part. Or that's how I understand it. It's like they are growing really fast but the "bad" part is weak so it splays out. That's all for now.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

R

Ok, AFTER I wrote all the other stuff I let R read it and she wanted a pic of her horse put in here and after all my trouble with the pics the other night, this one can stay here. She also has a dog but that pic will just have to wait for another time and the goat was in a previous post. This is Bridget. She is a foal from my mare and was sick with diarrhea the first week she was in the world. Because of all the meds we had to give her she thought she was a lap horse. She has an awesome, friendly personality. This year she foundered, got thrush, had abscesses in 3 feet and is just now feeling better. She has not been ridden since some time in May, before she foundered. The vet and the farrier were not sure if she'd be ridable again but she is acting pretty good now. She trots around and doesn't look like she is in pain anymore, thank God.


This post is about R. I've managed to load some pics but have no idea how they'll turn out on the actual blog page. R is an awesome person. She sets her mind on something and goes for it. She loves the arts and I love singing on the praise team at church with her. The praise team currently consists of R, my mother and I so it's kind of a family affair. R writes books, (even one with a made-up language) poems, short stories, and songs. She's fun to be around and she gets straight A's in school. I can't believe she's a senior this year. It seems like she was just born. Enjoy your time with your kids because they grow up oh so fast. Here are some pics about her life right now.


This is her beloved cat with the "phantom of the opera" face. It's not the best pic but you can see her face with the line right down the middle. The cat's name is Sanome (sah-na-may) after a character in one of R's books that she has written. We think she is a very talented writer and other's tell us that too so it's not all biased. Both Sanomes were orphans so the name fits. We found Sanome under a feed pallet at a feed store and lured her out with a piece of food. She was so scared and so scrawny but you'd never know that now.



This is a pic of R's photography/art display and sale. The pic in the middle was painted so that you can't really tell if the horse is facing away or towards you. We've asked several people which way it's facing and the responses are about half and half.

Another one with her art display. My mom and A helped her set it up and decorate it.



A few of her senior pics. A good friend took these pics.










Isn't she something? We think so too. Love ya, Babe.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Today

Well, R got her art/photography set up today. It looks really good. She did one painting that has a black horse in a sunset and she painted it so that you can't really tell if the horse is looking away from you or towards you. She already sold a framed photo even if it was to someone we know. I'll try to post a pic of her display soon but after my frustration last night trying to post pics I think I'll wait a day or two. She hung up a framed set of pics that she drew for my mother when she was 5 years old. It's not for sale but kind of shows where she came from. She drew a bear when she was 3 or 4 that was recognizable as a bear. I'm reading one of her books right now too. She is truly a talented person to be as young as she is. A is talented in the arts too. She loves to act in live theater and does a good job at it. She also likes to draw but draws more people than animals. She's been sketching clothes for a long time too. I used to get notes from her kindergarten teacher that she needs to color in the lines better. I finally took the papers down to her and pointed out what she had missed. A was never satisfied with the pic the way it was. She embellished all pics. She once added a tuxedo to a chipmunk and a "belly dancer" ensemble to the other chipmunk. I still have those pics and R's bear too. T used to bring home boxes of computer paper home and they drew all the time. Oh, they are both in another play but they are in separate casts. R is taking drama at school and they are working with the local theater and A auditioned and got a part so they are in two different casts. The theater usually "double casts" these shows and then they are performed for school kids during the day. With double casting it allows them to do more shows without the cast members missing so much school themselves. They do a few public performances too. Both girls have been in several plays and I've been in 3 and T's been in one. He is not interested in doing another one at this point.

When hanging up J's clothes today I discovered that I had a matched set. The funny part is I got the pants at Goodwill several months ago and I got the shirt yesterday at a different thrift store. Weird huh?

It's been much cooler here that last couple of days. Fall is definitely upon us. I'm not missing the heat yet but I don't like cold weather. It's 35 degrees cooler than it was just days ago. It's so sad that another summer has come and gone without J being here. I'm so tired of the process. I want to know what it's like to parent an adopted child in our home, everyday. I can't believe it's taking so long. There are some that have been waiting longer and my heart aches for them as well as us. J will be 10 soon and he was 7 when we first started pursuing this adoption. Sigh... Maybe soon, please Lord?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bunch of pics

T, the ultimate computer geek working on 2 PC's
(you can only see one), 3 laptops, and his pocket
PC.




Misty, in her stroller drinking from her sippy
cup.









Pic of a sunset that R took
from our "front yard."






.



B'day cake I made for R and A put a
Superman symbol on it.
















Dexter, the 15 pound cat in a size
7 1/2 shoe box.











R and Lillybet in their
"rain coats".












Bunny we saved from the mouths of the
dogs and took care of until we got him to
the "bunny lady".











Okay, this was a really hard post to put together. I'm still learning about blogging and got very frustrated working on it. But here it is, whichever way it turns out. I hope I get better at it.

We have a bunch of crazy people and critters at our house and we love everyone of them. I'm making cloth diapers for the babies at J's O. That's a job. I did some shopping today and pretty much have J's winter wardrobe together. I haven't bought shoes as I have no idea what size. I traced his foot when we were down there in June. When it's time for him to come home I'll get something a little bigger than the drawing. Or maybe some crocs type shoes as they are forgiving in the sizing. R is having an art/photography show and sale at the antique store starting tomorrow and going for a month. She is busy getting it all together.

There is so much stuff in my head but I can't get it all down here. So, like the guy in "O Brother, Where Art Thou" that's all I got.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More ramblings

I think I'll be doing a lot of posts entitled ramblings.~R just let her goat, Lillybet, in the front door. The last time she did that there were a few "lilly berrys" on the floor. Sigh...today has been up and down emotionally. I was at work and praying for good news on the adoption front. We haven't heard a thing. Another sigh...I was having a "bad fibro day" too. I get tired achy and feel like I'm coming down with something. Then I sleep and feel better in the morning.

There are so many things going on at church. Our pastor moved to S. Korea in April and the guy that was leading worship (or co-leading with me) quit going to our church. Now our church secretary, who is like a mom to us as we lived with her for 6 months while we were building this house, is moving to be near her daughter and grandchildren. Mrs. H if you're reading this please know that I would not deny you this for anything. I'm so happy for you. It's just that it's one more change. I would not deny our previous pastor and his family their opportunity either. I truly believe that these things were/are God's will. We have a wonderful interim pastor who is exactly what our church needed. By God's grace we will get through the changes.

I've really enjoyed doing this blog. It's a good "outlet" for me. Thanks to all of you who are reading it. The adoption process has really been an emotional roller coaster. We're still waiting (for over 3 months now) for the MOI signature that we need to get a passport for J. Sometimes my arms feel so empty. I hang out in the Psalms a lot and that helps. I'm so thankful for my Wed. evening ladies group. I know that they are there for me. I wonder if the "powers that be" in Haitian adoption have any idea whatsoever what they are constantly putting us through. I don't know how they possibly could and not do something to streamline the process. I wish they got paid by each file they got through rather than salary or however they get paid. That's my emotional low for today. I think I'm done, for now anyway. This was my favorite Psalm for a few weeks; Psalm 20 "May the LORD answer you when you are in trouble! May the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from his Temple and give you aid from Mount Zion. May he accept all your offerings and be pleased with all your sacrifices.May he give you what you desire and make all your plans succeed. Then we will shout for joy over your victory and celebrate your triumph by praising our God. May the LORD answer all your request. Now I know that the LORD gives victory to his chosen king; he answers him from his holy heaven and by his power gives him great victories. Some trust in their war chariots and others in their horses, but we trust in the power of the LORD our God. Such people will stumble and fall, but we will rise and stand firm. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The pink shirt



When we first started looking for orphanages and considering children, this one little guy in a pink shirt kept smiling up at me. When we committed to J we asked another adoptive family who was visiting their children to snap a pic of J for us. This is the pic they took. J was in the same pink shirt. I started looking at pics that others had taken at the O and I could always pick out J by the pink shirt. The kids at the O have 3 different colored shirts that they wear to school and they all wear the same color on the same day. J calls it his uniform. But when they're not in school they can wear what they want and J was always in that pink shirt. We sent some clothes to him and found pics of other kids in the clothes we sent. We sent him a Spiderman shirt with another adoptive mom and she took a pic of him in the shirt and then there are pics of another boy in the Spiderman shirt. He promptly gave it away. About 3 months after our dossier was in Haiti we finally got a pic of J in a blue shirt. And not long after that we got a pic of him in a green shirt. Yay! By the time R and I went to meet J in July '06 there was no pink shirt. I didn't even wonder about it at that point. When T and I were down there in June '07 I said something about the pink shirt. The O director told me that J was wearing that shirt when he arrived at the O. She said they just let those things be, whatever things the kids are attached too, even if they are ratty looking it's the kids only link to their previous life. She assured me that the shirt was red at some point and then turned pink. They just let him wear it until it died in the laundry one day. I'm so glad she told me this because I didn't like our son wearing hot pink. How vain of me and oh how I wish I had the pink shirt now.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

continued-kind of

It took a long time to download the video and T was late for a meeting so I didn't get to post much before. I hope the video works for you. We all went to the drive-in Friday nite. They had a special, $10 a car load and our van seats seven. My parents have a van too so there were 13 of us watching. It was truly rednecks at the drive-in. T parked in there backwards and opened the back gate so we could hear the movie. Then he used jumper cables to tie the gate down a little so people behind us could see. Then we took the back bench seat out and he and I sat in it. The others in our group were in an assortment of folding chairs. Yeah, we got a pic but only had cell phones to take them with. Either we didn’t get good pics or we don’t know how to get them off the phones. T will work on that and I'll post it when I can. Someone else brought a futon in the back of their truck. Gotta love it.~ I'm working on making fitted cloth diapers to send to the O. They have about 30-35 kids in diapers and can use all they can get.~T got the top of the steps finished yesterday. One more thing done. Now I have to stain and polyurethane it and get poly on the railing and underside of the platform. I'll post a pic when they are all done. The girls are working on cleaning their rooms today. Thank God. Well, there is plenty for me to do too so I better run.
Amy

40 Meg video for those who have high speed internet

video

This is a video we took of J while at T's parents house. We've made videos and sent them to J and we all showed him our "stupid human tricks" like touching your nose with your tongue etc. this is his stupid human trick.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Father update

Well, as far as we know T's dad is doing fine. My dad is fine but didn't qualify for the cochlear implant. They said his hearing wasn't bad enough with the hearing aids in. Huh?!? Obviously they didn't try to have a conversation with him. They suggested that he get his smart link (some kind of hearing aid enhancer) fixed and a few phones that might work better for him. Apparently he should have worn his old hearing aids.

We were practicing music at church tonight for Sunday and we were all tired and kind of in a funky mood. There are so many changes going on right now it's hard at times to deal with it. We started singing "The Battle Belongs to the Lord" and it really touched me. "No weapon that's fashioned against us shall stand-the battle belongs to the Lord. ....When your enemy presses in hard do not fear....Take courage my friend your redemption is near-the battle belongs to the Lord..." I love it. Take courage, J, your redemption is near and the battle belongs to the Lord. M' renmen ou, petit mwen.

Taller than me-and the fathers


These are some of my favorite pics of J, my little cowboy. They were taken by R, July '06.


Well, both of my girls are officially taller than me. I measured A the other day and she was an inch taller than me. I am 5'3", A is 5'4", and R is 5'5". Kind of weird, huh? Both girls share clothes and shoes. I can share shoes with them but not clothes.

My in-laws live in Haiti. They've been missionaries in the Cap Haitian area for almost 24 years. One of the things that my FIL does is haul water to people who don't have access to clean water. He was doing that on Monday when the tailgate of his big truck fell on his foot. By the time he got home his foot was swelling rapidly and bruising. They put ice on it and kept it up but he was using crutches because it was too painful to walk on. He even took some ibuprofen and he never takes meds. When he got up the next morning, K asked him where his crutches were and he said his foot didn't hurt. She got up and looked at it and the swelling and bruising was gone and he could move it and walk on it with no pain. They are praising God for a miracle.

My dad starts the process of testing today to see if he can have a cochlear implant. He has worn a hearing aid in one ear for like 30 years and has had them in both ears for several years. I can't quite imagine what it would like to hear again after all that time. He reads lips very well and I don't know what it would be like to talk to him without looking him straight in the face and over enunciating every word. I hope he qualifies for this and pray that it works for him. I think it will change his life and my mother's too. She hasn't been able to whisper sweet nothings in his ear for a l-o-n-g time.
Amy






Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No news yet

No news yet today. I was really hoping for some. We've been in MOI for over 3 months-14 weeks. It's getting very old. I plan to call the O director tomorrow if I haven't heard from her by then. I was very frustrated with the Lord today and told Him so but almost instantly the song "Trust and Obey" popped into my head. Hmmmm. Then I got thankful that J is healthy, that he's in a good O, etc. I guess I just feel empty without him here and cannot fathom why it's good for him to be apart from us. I told my Wed. ladies group that sometimes I wonder what's wrong with us that we can't have J in our home yet. Of course I believe that God is in control but sometimes those thoughts just pop in there.

I have a devotional book called "God Things Come in Small Packages" written by 4 different ladies. At the beginning of each devotional they put together parts of verses and "sign" them from God. Here are the last two I've read; "Cast all your anxieties on Me, because I care for you! I am your God, in whom you trust. I will command My angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Let My peace that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and your mind. (signed) My Perfect Peace, Your God Most High (taken from 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 91:2,11 and Phil. 4:6-7) and the second one is "Let Me restore your soul and guide you in paths of righteousness. I heal you when you're brokenhearted and bind up all of your hurts. I will quiet you with My love and rejoice over you. I will turn your mourning into gladness; I will replace your sorrow with comfort and joy. (signed) Your God of Restoration (taken from Psalm 147:3; Psalm 23:3; Zeph. 3:17; Jer. 31:13). I'm ready for the mourning to be turned to gladness.

We are planning on setting up a time to go look at Bryan college for R. We'll probably go pretty soon. I can't believe it's time for that already. Zoiks! It seems like she was just born and now she's planning on going off to college. Maybe that's part of reason for my melancholy over the adoption stuff.

I mentioned that I believe that God is in control. That song has been our "adoption theme song". I'll post the words here.

"God Is In Control"
by Twila Paris

This is no time for fear,
This is a time for faith and determination.
Don’t lose the vision here,
Carried away by the motion.
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart.
There is one thing that has always been true.
It holds the world together. –

God in is control.
We believe that His children will not be forsaken.
God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken.
There is no power above or beside Him,
We know, oh, God is in control.
Oh, God is in control. –

History marches on.
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages.
Culture can make it’s plan,
Oh, but the line never changes.
No matter how the deception may fly.
There is one thing that has always been true.
It will be true forever. (chorus)

He has never let you down.
Why start to worry now.
Why start to worry now.
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me


We never have the radio on when we drive in the car. T just doesn't like it. He says he can't hear me speaking over the radio and he would rather talk. For some strange reason we had the radio on when we were driving up to our first homestudy appointment. When we were about 5 minutes away from the place, "God Is In Control" came on the radio. It was like God was saying He could control it all even down to the song on the radio at that very point in time. I guess if He can control the radio He has MOI all figured out. We just have to trust and obey.
Amy

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ramblings

I'm getting ready to go through the summer clothes I bought for J thinking that he would be home by this summer. I never dreamed he would still not be home by now. I'm collecting winter clothes for him now. It's so sad. I just don't understand why this is good and why God doesn't step in and do something. The whole adoption process seems to be messed up in Haiti. They make it harder and harder.

Sometimes I try to figure it out or reason it in my head but it never makes sense. I try not to think it about it too much and just give it over to God. Notice I said "I try". It's not easy. So far I haven't regretted the decision to adopt from Haiti but I do wish the process would come to an end and he could be home with us. Every now and then a Bible verse will show up in my devotional book or Sunday school or our Wed. night ladies group that helps with the waiting. Wed. night this verse came up; Isaiah 46:9-10 "remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from the ancient times things not yet done, saying 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'" (italics mine)

Well, I'm getting my tubs of visual aids ready for absitnence classes. They were just a mess in the office/music room floor for a couple weeks. They are still a mess but I've gotten a lot done.

We've been looking for a college for R. The local state U would be good because she would qualify for enough scholarships and grants to pretty much pay for it. And she could live at home and still be active with our family and at church, plus she could probably keep her current job. Then she'd be here to take care of all her critters too. She has a horse, dog, cat and a goat. But the school is so crowded and I sure don't want to stand in the way of what God has for her. She is also thinking about Sewanee. It's a beautiful school, smaller, only an hour and 1/2 away but it's known as a "party school" and it's fairly liberal and she can't take art as a minor. There is also a christian college that we're looking at too. It's about 2 - 2 1/2 hours away. It's a small school and I really like that it's a christian college. But it's like $20,000 a year and she would qualify for several scholarships and grants for it too. But, we're just not rich-not by American standards. Another thing that is hard is that she's an August baby and she would be barely 18 or not quite 18 when school started. We like the idea of having her home that first year of college. Decisions, decisions.

Well, I better get back to the tubs. They don't organize themselves.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Swimming pics







Hey y'all. I'm going to try to post a few more pics from our trip. G'parents took us to a hotel for swimming and lunch on Father's Day. J was nervous of the water at first. He mostly floated around on a foam thing that was in the pool while wearing his Spiderman arm floaties. After a while he started putting his face in the water and would come up sputtering. I showed him how to hold his breath and then he became fearless, jumping off the side repeatedly as long as I was there to "catch" him. He loved both times we went to restaurants and ordered the same thing-chicken with sauce (chicken Creole) and boy can he put it away. I'm so thankful G'parents thought to do that for us. It was a wonderful Father's Day.