Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Whew! One bite at a time

Everyone but T overslept this morning. I never even heard the alarm go off but I usually get up a few minutes after T anyway so no biggy for me. Both girls however fell back asleep. R did not get home until after 11 last night due to play practice. We may have to talk to them about that since she still has a curfew on her driver's license. Besides that fact that it was a school night. She asked me to feed the goat this morning but I needed to get into the shower and get ready for my abstinence classes. I think everyone got fed.

My classes went great. They are small classes, only 12 students in each. Great teacher (the classroom teacher, not me) and great kids. It makes this fun. So that was a good start to the day. I went and had my blood test to see if the liver function and thyroid have returned to normal and then picked up a few things for the Hallelujah Harvest party. We did get quite a few things set up last night too, so that helps. T got his hay bales set up with the help of my dad and a friend. He will cover it so it's dark in there. Then we give the kids one of those glowing bracelets to "see" their way through the maze.

T talked to his aunt and uncle and they are coming Thursday, not Tuesday. That eases things up for tonight. B and B, it's not that we don't want to see you it's just that Thursday works a lot better for us than Tuesday. Now I just have to get R to her eye doc appointment and get a few things at the store. I think the few things will include one of those roasted chickens. Oh, yes. So that takes care of dinner. A will still go to her friend's house as they are both in the play together and they can get her to practice.

Last night I was stressed about the party and how we were going to get everything done. Today feels a lot better. I'm actually getting excited about the party. Last night it just felt like a chore. What a difference a day makes.

For some reason Sanome is laying on my hands as I'm trying to type. I've typed some interesting things that way. I think she missed me last week. Okay, cat has got to go. That's better.

We still have not heard any news about the adoption paperwork. We did hear from the O directors and they said they had a lot of rain and some wind from the tropical storm and the roads are very muddy but it's not too bad where they are. Their administrative assistant wasn't able to get to work because of the roads but everyone is fine. I'm sure the storm is why we weren't able to talk to J on Sunday. I guess we'll try again this week.
Amy

Later Thursday edit; R's eye doc was running 45 minutes late. Sigh...I ran to return something while she was at the appointment. The traffic on that side of town at that time of day is awful. I nearly got hit twice and nearly hit someone else. Then we ran to the store and decided to "divide and conquer" our list. Ha! Divide and conquer? It was more like the store kicked our butts. There were people everywhere and nothing could be found. I had about 3 things in my cart when R called and said, "I've got my stuff. Where are you?" It turns out she had the wrong size tights for herself and had to go back and get some different ones. They didn't have her size and someone even went and looked in the back for her. Nope. The ones she got are like 2 sizes too big and I hope they stay on her. We did get one of those chickens and she ate some on the way home because we weren't even home yet and she was already late for play practice. Being the rednecks that we are she pitched the chicken leg out the window. Don't worry, we are responsible "pitchers" and only throw biodegradable things and we actually look to make sure no one is behind us.

She went to play practice and T and I ate together and then went and picked up A and her friend and they helped cover up the hay bale maze. This is the best maze yet. The girls tried it out after they got it covered and loved it. I need to charge the camera batteries and clear the memory stick because tomorrow promises to be interesting. I know what I'm dressing up as and I know what a couple others are dressing up as. Our rule for dressing up for the Hallelujah Harvest Party are that it can't be scary or evil or negative and it can't cover up the face, like a mask. As long as I stay away from the store and the "other" side of town where all the bad traffic is, I'm geared up and ready for the party. Party hearty, y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hit the ground running

Weeeerrrree baaaaaack. T just got home from a church meeting. R is still at play practice. One of her plays opens Friday and the other play that both kids are in (different casts-don't make it easy on mom now) opens next week. I'm working Monday and teaching on Tuesday. R has an eye doc appointment on Tuesday. I think T's aunt and uncle are visiting that day. I'm preparing for our Hallelujah Harvest Party at our church on Wed. evening. T has to find and haul about 30 bales of hay for his famous Hay Bale Maze and then get them set up. He does a different lay out each year. I think this is the 4th year in a row for this party. I have to organize people to work about 20 different booths/games and set up/clean up. Calgon, take me away. Oh wait, I just got back.

All the critters were still alive when we got home. The goat seems a little depressed but all the others are happy campers and can't figure out why we don't give them treats everytime we look at them like those other people did. The horse had a little trouble with one foot and our capable caretakers wrapped it up for her. She seems better. Maybe R can check it out better tomorrow between school and play practice.

We are so frustrated with the adoption process. I know God is in control and has a plan and all that but it hurts to hope at this point. We've been in MOI for 5 months now. This is insane. It's cruel and inhuman punishment and I don't know why we're being punished. The worst part is that we're one file of many. It doesn't make me feel better knowing that we're not the only ones, it makes me feel awful for all of us who are waiting. I wonder what's going through the mind of our son, if he wonders if he's done something bad that we won't come and get him. He asks us every time we talk when we're coming to get him. We didn't get to talk to him today. I'm not sure why. I hope he doesn't blame us. I don't understand how this is good. I don't understand the process. I'm not sure I ever will in this life. I wish that the "powers that be" in Haiti understood how bad this hurts.

I better run in a different vein for a while. I made Haitian Soup JouMou today. A asked for it. It does have a pumpkin base but is really more like a vegetable soup. We're eating it today and tomorrow since I won't have time to make anything tomorrow. If there's any left after that I'll freeze it for when J gets here so he'll have something he's familiar with. I'm going to get the abstinence supplies out this evening too so I'm ready for Tuesday. That way we can work on Harvest party stuff Monday night and hopefully visit with T's family or watch a dress rehearsal of R's play on Tuesday evening. Run, run, run. Like I said, we're baaaaack.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Home again

We finally made it home. We had some tire issues in Atlanta and T had to put the spare on. Thankfully we were stopped at a gas station and not on the interstate. We had a good time but ended up thinking a lot about everything we needed to do when we got home and R thought about all the practices she was missing and of course we thought about the adoption process a lot. There was an email from the lawyer saying that no progress had been made. Sigh...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pics

Here are a few pics from our trip. This is the Spanish moss on some trees where we're staying.

Here is a fountain.
A and I standing in the ocean.

T and his girls by a marina.


Beach view.




The gator living in the pond near the entrance to where we're staying.






Wednesday, October 24, 2007

from the island

We are here on the island enjoying our vacation except for the fact that we still know nothing new about the adoption process. We do things and I can’t help but wonder what J would think of it if he were here. Seeing the ocean and all of God’s interesting creatures. We just took pics of a gator. I’ll try to post them once we get home.
I’ve often dreamed of going to pick up J or bringing him home in the last few weeks. One night I dreamt that we went down there and ended up with a different kid. We weren’t upset about it or anything, just had a different child. Too weird. Last night I dreamed that J was hurt. It was not very encouraging.
I don’t really have time to process all the stuff going on in my head right now and we have to go to internet cafes to get any connection. Just wanted to let you know we are still out here and we don’t know anything new.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday again

It's Thursday again and we haven't heard any news yet. We had weird car problems today. I have heard that the lawyer is going to MOI tomorrow. It's not clear if she went today and is going again tomorrow or if it got delayed until tomorrow. It's Haiti. Maybe no one knows for sure. The car issues went something like this; T got up and took our van and went to work. The girls got up and took the Jeep and went to school. I got in the shower where I remembered that the only key I had for my parent's house so I could get their van to drive to work was in OUR van. T turned around and brought the key back to me. And then went back to work. I got in my parents van and went to meet T at the garage that was doing our tire rotation and balance. He took me to work and took my parent's van. On our lunch break he took me back over to get our van. He took our van and I took my parent's van. Are you still with me? It gets better. At 2:45 I get a call at work from R saying the Jeep won't start. I told her the usual, wiggle the shifter, put it in neutral, etc. but it still wouldn't start. I told her she called the wrong parent that this was something for her daddy to deal with. At 2:50 I get a call from T that he's going to "rescue" the girls and take the Jeep and get a battery in it. He does take it and get said battery and then takes it to where they are practicing their plays and painting sets. He takes our van back to work and finishes up there. Then he takes our van home and changes the oil so we're ready for our vacation. Oh honey, are we ready for our vacation! I bring parent's van home after work and T gets the oil changed in ours. Something was loose under there where the oil filter is which explains the oil leak. Thank God that he found that and I'm so thankful for a hubby who knows how to work on vehicles. Other than getting the girls to clean out their mess the van is ready to be packed and go. T was able to move the middle seats back a notch which will enable the girls to have their own seats without their parents in their laps. T sits and leans way back when he drives and I lay the seat back when we travel because of the fibro pain. Parent's car is back in their garage. Girls are not home yet so we don't know if the Jeep will start or not. I'll keep you posted. Ha!

Friday morning edit; The Jeep did start and they got home, finally. A took and shower in their bathroom and R took one in ours. At 10:10 p.m. A announces that she has an "egg drop" project due this morning. Ah! They make something to try to keep an egg from breaking when it's dropped from the school roof. Definitely something for T to help with. After some tears on A's part they got an idea together and made a cage of sorts. Then I asked if A also had an article due. Yes, she did. Yes, I think we all need a break. I went to bed but got up when the cat started "talking" to us. It literally sounded like he was trying to form words. Weird. Then he started heaving and A and T started gagging too. Wimps. I had to get up and clean up the mess. T cleaned up the second wave about 10 minutes later. Yeah, it was a fun night. We didn't get that much rain but thankfully the storms went around us. T said at one point there were tornado warnings in the counties around us but nothing here. Thank God for that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cautiously hopeful

Well, it appears that our file has been found, apparently still in MOI. So it seems that it hasn't gone forward, but neither has it gone backward. I say "it seems" because this is such a crazy process and sometimes you are told you're going forward when you're actually going backward or vice versa. I don't think people are lying to us. Unfortunately, I think it's just that disorganized. It's a third world country where they ran out of passport booklets a couple weeks ago. They just got started printing again this week. Things in another office came to a standstill one time because the rubber stamp broke. Rubber has a tendency to disintegrate in the Haitian heat and humidity. Apparently our lawyer is meeting with MOI on Thursday again and our file is one of four from our O that will be discussed. So we are cautiously hopeful for good news. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tending sheep in the wilderness

The wait for the adoption process is oh so hard. I have skype on as I'm writing this in hopes that J will call us. It's so hard to talk to him and yearn for him and not even know what's going on with the file or where it is for sure. We've been so busy this week and I had a "sick headache" last night. I haven't had one for several months. I did manage to read this from "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers; "Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared and told Moses to go and bring forth His people, and Moses said-'Who am I, that I should go?' In the beginning Moses realized that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God.

We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness, as if God had ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged God comes back and revives the call, and we get the quaver in and say-'Oh, who am I?' We have to learn the first great stride of God-'I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee.' We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our indiviuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God (see Matthew iii. 17). We fix on the individual aspect of things; we have the vision-'This is what God wants me to do;' but we have not got into God's stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead." How cool is all that?

We do believe that we were supposed to walk down this adoption road. We do feel like God is leading the way and that He is in control. However, I definitely feel like I've been driven to "blank discouragement" and sent to the desert (I hope it's not for forty years!). Sometimes I wonder if I'm capable of parenting an adopted child. He will come with his own set of baggage. Even though there is no abuse in his history he has been given up by one momma. That has to have it's own set of hurts. I hope I remember how I feel and how I want to lash out when I'm so frustrated with this process and think about how J feels when he lashes out in his frustration. Maybe we have to go through this on order to parent him. That's scary! We as humans definitely think about the individual aspect of things. We are not the only family waiting to bring their child home from Haiti. There are others who have waited longer and are still waiting. Some bring their children home much sooner. There are others who are walking this road and we are not alone. I'm ready for God to "revive the call" and to get "into God's stride". Only He can bring this about. I love the idea that "If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead." I hope it looks just like J. If anyone wants to know where I've been for the last 2 years, I've been tending sheep in the wilderness.

We did finally get to talk to J! I love it and hate it at the same time. He asked again when we were coming to get him. Breaks my heart in two. And I don't even know what's going on with our file. Pray for us. I was telling him about one of the plays that R is rehearsing for. I knew he was familiar with it but he said he didn't know it at first. I explained a little bit about it and he said, "Oh yeah. I know it." I told him what part she was playing and sang a bit of the song and he said, "Do dat again." I asked why and he said, "I am not hearing you." I wonder how many times I will hear those exact words from this child? I started singing again and I heard him tell his buddy to listen. Too funny.

T got the bookcase headboard finished for J's room and I stained it. If I have time tomorrow after work I'll poly it. I can't wait to see it set up in his room. I can't wait to see J in it. Please Lord, let it be soon.
Amy

Saturday, October 13, 2007

So busy!

Wow, we've been busy the last few days. Running here and there and just trying to keep up. On Thursday I said we were "waiting for the bomb to drop" as we've had bad news the last two Thursdays in a row. We got the news late Thursday evening that a dear elderly gentleman from our church passed away. That's three Thursdays in a row, so maybe we're due some good news now.

The homecoming parade and game was last night. We ended up leaving early as we were ccccold. Someone gave us a down comforter for our bed and boy are we liking that. We should have brought that with us to the game. I don't have any pics of the girls from yesterday. They just wore school colors. A had talked about using grease paint on her face but she didn't do that. At least you saw the Cinderella and hippie outfits.

I've had a request to do "Rindercella and the Two Sad Bisters". I don't know how that would look printed out, but I'll try. I think it's called spoonerism when you switch the first letters around and I originally got this from a friend, like 20 years ago. I'm not even sure that this is correct but here goes; Rindercella bent to the wall and pranced with the dandsome hince. When the strock cluck twelve, Rindercella stan down the reps and slopped her dripper (that line is a personal favorite). The prandsome Hince found it and brought it Rindercella's house and tried in on the first sad bister and it fidn't dit. Then he tried on the second sad bister and it fidn't dit. Then he tried it on Rindercella and it fid dit.

We are home finally, obviously, and dog tired but I wanted to "catch you up" a bit. We're still here, still no adoption news, and we're just incredibly busy right now.
Amy

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday

I keep sitting here waiting for the bomb to drop. We've had two Thursdays in a row of bad news. So far, so good today. Of course when the guy fell of the 20 story building as he passed each floor he said, "So far, so good." We'll see what happens.

No pics today. They didn't dress up. It was a beautiful day. I usually work on Thur so it was kind of weird to be home. I washed the van, vacuumed it, armor alled it and used leather care on the seats. It may be 8 years old and have almost 200K miles on it but it is looking good. I drove real slow up the driveway after getting A but it's so dry that there was still dust on it when we got back. Sigh...I nearly hyperventilated and passed out trying to blow the dust off the back. Guess what else. I have fibromyalgia and I am painfully aware of that fact at the moment. Maybe I'll treat myself to a whole muscle relaxer tonight. :)

Due to my height, or lack thereof, I keep a stool in my kitchen at the end of my "bay" counter. Most people find it by tripping over it. A lot of times I sit on it and Dexter jumps into my lap for a few minutes. Today I stepped up on it and sat/leaned on the counter instead and Dexty saw me and decided to jump into my lap. The problem was my lap was not there. He looked rather surprised when he slid down my legs. I love the nonchalantness that cats have. He acted like he meant to do that as he walked away. Of course I had to pick up my Dexty and snuggle him.

I made the first chili of the season and it is good, even if I do say so myself. Isn't it funny how we cook differently in the summer verses the winter? When A saw the big pot she asked when we were going to have pumpkin soup again. I have a good recipe for Haitian Pumpkin soup or "soup joumou". It's not pureed pumpkin like cream of tomato but a hearty vegetable soup with pumpkin base. Good stuff. My mom can't get past the pumpkin part and I'm not sure if she's ever tried it but everyone else thinks it's good. Well, the laundry is calling once again. I better go.

videoOk, as promised, finally, the video from yesterday morning starring the Two Bad Sistahs. It's funny. Enjoy.

The kids didn't dress-up today. They are averaging every other day. I wonder what tomorrow will look like.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I told you this morning would be interesting

Okay, today's homecoming week theme was something like famous person, couple or group. R and A decided to team up with A's friend E and be Ciderella and the wicked step sisters. I got a great video of A and E doing their wicked step sister routine but I haven't been able to upload it. I'll keep trying. It's hysterical. Yesterday's schedule was interesting. T took the girls to school and went to work. Then I went to work. Then the girls got off the bus where I work and took the van home. Then they came back to town for A's play practice. Then T came to where I work and got some money to get some food. Then R came to where we work for a staff meeting. Then T brought our burgers back and switched vehicles with us so he could hear the noise the van was making and he took A and E's burgers to them at the play practice. After our meeting R and I headed to church where T was having a deacon's meeting. I got the van which T had fixed (4 loose lug nuts, OMG) and R drove the Jeep and we both went to the arts center. I picked up A and E and R stayed for her practice. She came home after practice and T got a ride home with my dad after their meeting. Sigh...the girls had originally decided that R and E would be the wicked step sisters and A would be Cinderella but since A and E had time in the evening to practice their routine, they decided R would be Cinderella. Here's a pic of A and E as the wicked step sisters. E is on the left and A on the right.


They even practiced these goofy laughs.

This is their pouty look. E wasn't quite there yet. Oops. A has it down though.

This is R as Cinderella. She has cocoa on her face for cinder ashes.

The whole outfit.


I love the way they are looking at Cinderella. Drama queens, oh yeah.


And their last pic. I think this was R's idea. Too funny.






Tuesday, October 9, 2007

No pics today

I was right. The girls decided not to dress up today so no pics of them. Tomorrow promises to be interesting though.

Yesterday and today were interesting at work. The "boss" (she's really one of my best friends-I just happen to work in their store) went to get mums. When she got back her step dad was parking the trailer for her when the brakes went out on the vehicle. Well, it began a slow descent towards the river that's behind the store. B (who also works there) had the presence of mind to steer towards the smaller creek that runs into the river. Once the vehicle went over the edge, the embankment on the other side stopped it. Yes, the trailer was still attached. They got the trailer off and took pics and tried to figure out what to do. It was decided that we didn't have the horse power to pull it out and a wrecker was called. About 45 minutes after it happened, the local police showed up. Those guys are quick, aren't they? Not one, not two, but three police cruisers show up. Think Mayberry. When the wrecker pulled it out, the left front was banged up a bit. By that time, the news was all over town. One of the dealers came in and I was going to tell her about it she said she'd already seen pics that a neighbor took! Again, think Mayberry. No one was hurt and the vehicle will be repaired.

Today, another guy that works with us wrecked the front of his vehicle trying to avoid a deer. He opted for the guardrail instead. We're all a little "skeered" now. Then the doorknob fell off the bathroom door today with a customer inside. B came through and said, "Did the doorknob fall off the bathroom door? I see someone moving inside there." I had not been aware of it and we went and looked and sure enough, the doorknob was missing and you could see fingers moving in there. I asked if someone was stuck inside and he said, "Uh, yes ma'am. I can't seem to get this open." B got the door open for him and the guy's wife was standing over to the side looking at something and she smiles and says, "Oh, just leave him in there a little longer. I've got some more shopping to do." Yeah, one more time, think Mayberry.

I have a couple of different devotional books that I like to read from. One is "God Things Come In Small Packages". They take scriptures and put them together in a "note" type format, then there is a devotional and then some "closing" thoughts on the subject. Today's "note from God" was; "I'm near when you call upon Me. I hear your cry and save you. I've redeemed you and called you by name. You are Mine! When you feel like you're drowning in life's circumstances, I won't let you be overwhelmed. And I won't let the fires of life burn you. Your flesh and your heart might fail, but I am the strength of your heart and your portion forever. Comforting you, Your Living God" taken from Psalm 145:18-19; Isaiah43:1; Psalm 73:26. The "closing thoughts" are; "God is near those crushed in spirit. He sees every tear, feels every pain. When no one else can possibly understand the condition of your soul, God knows. If all you can do is breathe, He is as close as that breath. Collapse in His ourstretched arms." I love the vision of collapsing in His outstretched arms. That's where I was last Friday. All I could do was breathe. I'm at a better place now. No, we haven't gotten any news but God has come quietly and given me a hope, an encouragement. And I am thankful. Do I like what's happening? No way. Do I trust Him? Yes.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Homecoming week

It's Homecoming week. I plan to put pics of the girls up every day that they actually dress up for it. We plan to go the game Friday night but as T's parent's say, "This is the change, subject to plan." R's first year of high school she was very impressed by homecoming week. On the way to work on the freshman float for the parade, she told me how much fun she was having and how she felt sorry for her friends who were homeschooled because they didn't get to have homecoming week. They have different themes each day and she won classroom awards for her costumes that first year. She even convinced a guy from church to pull the freshman parade after she worked on it all week. She has enjoyed the fun and games each year. So, here we have the first day of homecoming pic for her senior year. The theme for today was "decade" (like 60's, 70's, 80's) or crazy hair and clothes. R is dressed as a hippy and won class, and then school wide for the "decade" category. She is wearing a skirt that currently belongs to A and originally came from their cousin, boots that belong to A, my shirt from a costume from one of our theme parties, my green sunglasses, an old belt of mine that A currently claims, homemade necklace and belt buckle and A's skull cap. We believe she is wearing her own underwear.
Here is A in her hippy outfit. She says she was running against a popular cheerleader and therefore didn't win for her class. She is wearing the "Happy Pants" that I got for a costume of mine at a "dig boutique" (where they open a "bale" of clothes and you dig through them) only they had been picked up by the owner and when I explained what I was looking for she said, "Oh, you need the Happy Pants." They have been worn numerous times by numerous people and A was glad to have her turn at last. She is also wearing a T-shirt that she got last night at Wally world and then cut up all around the edges for a fringe effect, a bandana and flourescent green flip flops to match the Happy Pants. The mom in me says isn't she cute? Don't you love the Happy Pants on her? and the housewife in me says oh my gosh. Look at the house. There's a bag on the floor and a stack of diapers for the babies at J's O behind her and a box for them to go in. Do me a favor and just look at A in her hippy outfit. Forget the house.

Well, that's the pics for today. They haven't decided yet if they're dressing up tomorrow or not. They're a little bored with cowboy/Indian or camo day. We live in a rural area. You probably won't be able to see any kids at the high school tomorrow because they'll all be in camouflage.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I love Skype

We did get to talk to J today. It was so good, yet so hard. He asked when we were coming to get him. I asked if it seems like a long time to be waiting and he said yes. Of course, he says yes to just about everything we say. I thought his English had improved some but T thought it was about the same. He can say A's name though and asked for her. Then he just said hello when she got there. His phone skills have improved some. Another adoptive parent was there and he was taking pics while we talked. I asked J if he was being good and he said yes. Then T asked if he was good all the time and J said.....sometimes. At least he's honest! Oh Lord, please let him come home.

Church, Friday funnies, etc.

Well, I made it through church. I was honest up front and basically told them that I didn't want to be there but I was there out of obedience. I guess that's what "to obey is better than sacrifice" that I mentioned earlier meant. The songs we picked for today were interesting. See, we had picked them and practiced them before we knew about this problem with the process, being sent back to Parquet. One of the songs was "Trading My Sorrows" and another was "It Is Well With My Soul". Little did I know while we were choosing them that they would be speaking to me in such strong ways come Sunday morning.

Friday was so hard. Something did make me laugh that afternoon though. It was R's cat, Sanome. She loves to root in the clean, warm laundry and take a nap.

Oh, such a big yawn. Sleepy kitty.



Friday I washed our sheets. Before we got them back on the bed Sano had found them. They were moving a little and purring. I took a peek and found her peeking back at me.

She thought she was completely covered. Gotta love it.


I'm not liking the news we got on Thursday but I keep thinking about an old Keith Green song. I know I'm dating myself by just mentioning him but I heard a lot of Keith Green through my brother, who is OLDER than I am. Anyway, it's a real simple song that says, "Lord, I'm gonna love You, Lord, I'm gonna love You, Yes I'm gonna love You Lord, with all that's in my heart." And then it keeps going with Lord, I'm gonna trust You, Lord, I'm gonna thank You, praise You, follow You. You get the idea. It's a calming melody that just keeps repeating in my head. I may get a chance to talk to J today over the computer. I don't know what I'll say to him. Poor little guy. Of course, it's just life as usual for him but he did go visit his g'parents with us and has an idea of what he's missing. But I'm going to trust that God knows what He's doing.
Yesterday was my parent's 45th anniversary. Yay for them! I have to tell a little story on them. I was at work the other day and my mom called and said that they were shopping and that she rounded a corner and the slats or whatever that were holding the bin were sticking out further than the bin. Well, she tripped on the slats but was able to catch herself before she fell. Some young man that worked there made sure she was ok and asked if she wanted to see the manager. She told him she thought she'd be okay. We talked a little more and hung up. She called me back in less than five minutes, laughing. She was wearing her microphone thing that goes into dad's hearing aids. They were in different parts of the store but he could hear her going, oh, oo when she tripped and then all of her conversations. He even heard some of what I said when she called me on her cell. He couldn't even hear the guy telling him a price because all this was going on in his hearing aid. Too funny. So I said (loudly) mind your own business, dad. And then we laughed like it was a huge joke. Oh the things the deaf man can hear.
I'm going to go for now and see if we can get a hold of J.

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Facing the Giants"

This movie was recommended to us by another adopting family. Thanks! I made T rent it today and we were all encouraged by it. It is an excellent movie and should be required viewing for anyone facing giants in their life. The recurring theme in my life these last couple weeks seems to be praise Him anyway. That's so hard. You have to determine ahead of time to praise Him, no matter what. Sometimes it scares me that this process is so hard. I wonder what's in store for us, why we need to be so strong. But maybe for right now I just need to learn to praise God anyway.

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This is a rather frsutrating post. If you don't think you can handle raw emotions, don't keep reading.


Are you still here? Then bless you and please don't bash me for my feelings. Encouragement is ok. I’m really confused about how I feel right now. We got word that our file, which has been waiting for a signature for 4 MONTHS in MOI has now gotten moved BACKWARD into Parquet. How can this be? It makes no sense. Apparently most of the files from our O that were in MOI got sent back. A couple made it through, ones that were in the same amount of time as ours. Did I already say this makes no sense? We were really thinking the end might be near. That’s what I get for hoping. Hoping hurts too much right now. I know I’m supposed to praise God anyway but if I praise Him in an effort to get our son home, then I’m still not really doing what He wants, am I? I’m just not there yet. It’s actually been a few minutes since I’ve shed tears over this. That’s like a record today. I know in my head that God is in control, that He has our best in mind, and that He loves J more than I ever could but my heart is NOT feeling it. Oops, here comes the tears again. I debated about posting this but I want this to be an honest place where I can post what I feel about this crazy process. This blog is therapeutic for me, you just end up reading it. How am I going to talk to J if we can get a hold of him on Sunday? I just keep falling apart. I'm angry. My head says trust in God but my heart is NOT GETTING IT. When I was trying to give birth to A, she was stuck on my pelvis and they pulled her with a forceps. Even with an epidural it felt like they were ripping me in two. It feels like some part of me has been ripped in two again. When we first started the adoption process and J's birth mother said no at first, it felt like he had died to us or that I had miscarried. It feels like he has died to us again. How can they mess with someone's life like that? How is this good? Doesn't anyone care about the adoption process in Haiti? How can they keep screwing with people's lives? Sorry, I know this isn't real refined but it's taken me awhile to even get here. Psalm 43 has been my friend today. "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; (I like that part) rescue me from the deceitful and wicked men. You are God my stronghold. Why have You rejected me? (Oh yeah, I definitely want to know that one) Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

Our lawyer is supposed to be meeting with Parquet today. MOI says the signatures from Parquet are the old guys and they need to be the new guys, the one who isn't signing for people with bio children. We have two, but I'm infertile now. Have been for over 14 years. To be pregnant would have been life threatening for me. I wonder if that counts. Okay, I'm done blasting for now. I need to do more processing. I don't know how I'm going to lead music in church this Sunday. Pray for me. I've asked God if I should and all that came to mind was "to obey is better than sacrifice" but I'm not sure how that fits in.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What to do while you wait

Wait is a four letter word. Hmmm. It's so hard. We still haven't heard anything about the adoption papers moving forward. Did I mention how hard it is? You start this journey so full of joy and expectations, looking for an orphanage, considering children, imagining what they will be like and how they will fit into your family. You find an agency to do your home study. You gather all the papers for your dossier. You're so busy doing things, gathering papers and making plans. Then you send the dossier off. Oh my goodness, what do we do now? I never dreamed it would take so long. All the waiting drives you nutty. Well, one of the things we've done during the wait is to change some attic space into a bedroom for our son. Here are a few pics.

This is the attic before we started. There had been a TV antenna in there so we started by putting up an antenna tower and moving that out of there. Then we scraped the insulation off the top and started a subfloor. All of the boards were brought up through our attic trap door and carried across and over to the new room. What a job! I don't know how many times T hit his head on the same board crossing from one part to the other. The first few times I felt bad for him but after the 10th or 12th time you'd think he would duck. Oh no, he hit it nearly every time. Brings whole new meaning to the term "hard head".


Ah, finally the window is in. T did all the electrical, framing, etc. I did the insulation. We did those jobs on the main part of the house while we were building too.

The hole has been cut into the living room ceiling for the steps. T cut it with the chainsaw. You should have seen his face when I suggested using the chainsaw to cut the whole. It's not every man who gets to cut holes in the house with a chainsaw.

A friend helped us get the drywall up through the window using a forklift. It was raised up a few at a time and then lifted up and pulled in through the window. We hate working on drywall and that was the part we were dreading the most. We got it done though.
Finally, the painting is done, Spiderman border is up and staining and poly is going on trim boards. I was working on this while we were practicing for a play and a I'd take the little CD player up there and sang the songs as loud as I wanted. Pretty good acoustics in there with no carpet or furniture.

We were given so many things to go into this room. Our ex-pastor's son (they moved to S. Korea) gave J Legos and a storage bin. Some friends gave us a bed and some blankets and sheets. My S-I-L gave us the comforter. Some friends T works with gave us the Spiderman throw. My dad helped T lay the carpet with some tools loaned to us by another friend that I work with. I've had a lot of fun collecting things for J. I've read and been told by someone who has "been there, done that" that we should make the room very simple at first. I'll take some of the clothes and toys out for now and then as he adjusts and bonds with us, not his things, I'll bring out more things. We don't want to overwhelm him or over-stimulate him.


As you can see, there is plenty of stuff in the room. My parents gave us the computer desk when they got new office furniture. T plans to put up a computer for J and load it with ESL software and educational games, etc. When we visited J the first time he was really in to R's laptop. He mostly wanted to run the mouse all over though. T is not putting an expensive computer in there, just one that will play the educational games.


Okay, we had talked about adopting in the past and the girls were always excited about it and willing to share a bedroom, etc. We hadn't talked about it for a while when I read a Karen Kingsbury book and figured out that she had adopted 3 little boys from Haiti. I started checking in to adoption grants and ways to fund an international adoption because we rarely have extra money and didn't know how we would fund it. We did a Kingdom Kids fundraiser which several of you who are reading gave to, we did get a grant and I've raised over $1,000 selling cookies. Anyway, when we told the girls we thought we were ready to adopt they just stared at us. Finally R said, "Where are you going to put him?" You see, while we were building this house we lived with a wonderful lady from our church who had a huge house. We had a "suite" of two rooms and the girls not only shared a room, but they shared a bed and that got old quick. They got to pick out their carpet and the colors in their rooms and they have very different personalities so the thought of sharing was not appealing to them at all. So I started looking at the attic and thought it would work, but where would we put steps? We were laying in bed talking about something else and the thought of a spiral staircase came into my head. I found some plans online and T thought he could do that. Once the girls knew we could make an attic room they were totally on board with the adoption. The spiral staircase was a huge undertaking. T laminated the boards together and made treaders, he found pipe for the center and calculated pipe length for the spacers. If you know T, you know that math is not a strong point for him but it came out perfectly. It's an awesome piece of work and I love it. I always wanted a spiral staircase and T always wanted a loft. The girls just wanted their own bedrooms. The cats are quite thrilled with the staircase too and could use it before we could. Dexter was involved in all phases of staircase production. Here he is inspecting the new stairs. He's the black furry blob.


Same time as the other pic, but from the top.


Ah, the handrail. By far, the hardest part of the stairs. T cut a long board into thin strips, about 1/4" wide. He measured and made a form using two sheets of plywood, little pieces of boards srewed into just the right place and shims. Then he smothered the strips of wood with glue and put them into this frame. I'm sorry to say that the first rail was too thick when we tried to install it and it broke. T never said a word. He just took the piece in his hands outside and returned to fight the other piece down and took it out. Then he packed up his tools and watched TV. We did get another built, T planed it down at a friend's house and we held our breath. This time when we bent the circle into a helix, it didn't break. Glory be! Here is a pic of R holding the strips down while T pounds in the shims and attaches the clamps.


We just got the last of the trim around the opening up this weekend. I'm still putting the last coats of poly on it today. Here's a pic of the finished product from the top.


And from the bottom. I really like how it turned out. It is definitely narrow, but so is J. It's hard to get things up there but there's always the attic trap door or the window :-)


We ended up with a small landing area at the top of the steps. Then you step down a little bit into J's room. We plan to build bookshelves around the top that can be accessed while on the stairs. You can kind of see that in the other pic. I wonder how long before J will climb up the small edges of the stairs. I hope we find out soon. Now you know some of the things we did while waiting. We're done now. Please Lord, let him come home.