Friday, November 30, 2007

Aaagggghhhhhh/cont.

Well, the official word on the fat finger is, he thinks it needs to be drained but he's not sure where to cut. Could be that it just needs more time and hot soaks. So, he's sending me to a surgeon for a second opinion. It was just a hang nail! Is a surgeon really necessary? I just want the use of my finger back. I had an offer from someone to fix it for free with his pocket knife. I may have to take him up on his offer. ~ It's Friday and no adoption news yet today. SCREAM! This is one of those days where it seems like God doesn't care anymore. Before you get all theological on me, I know that He's there and that He really does care. I said it "seems" like He doesn't, or that He's forgotten about us somehow. It's been 6 months of waiting for a signature just for a passport. There is no one to complain to. There is no one holding these people accountable. They just don't care. They have a powerful job and they like it. They like the power of being able to say, yes I'll sign or no I won't. It's sickening. I'm sick of the journey. ~ In other news, it's sunny and cool but not cold here today. There is a Christmas parade tomorrow and I had my choice of two floats to ride on; work or church. R and I will be on the work one and T and A will be on the church one. Lillybet has been invited to be on the work one. I thought it might stress her but it's R's call, not mine. I remember holding a goat on a parade float when I was a kid. I fed it a bottle and it peed on me. With that in mind, R can hold the goat. ~ Not much else going on.
Amy
Later...The "not knowing" is driving me crazy. I don't know how much more I can take. People lovingly try to tell me not to dwell on it. How can I not dwell on it? It's like T said, if your child was in the hospital for a month and they told you to go home and think about something else, could you do that? We are J's parents. How can we not think about him when he is not with us? Yes, we do carry on with our lives. We do have two other children in the home and have really enjoyed our time with them. We've played a lot of games and watched movies, sharing with them movies that we enjoyed when we were their age. Our time with them is great. But how can we not think about J? He exists. He is real. We've met him. He is a part of our lives. I wish there was a way for the Haitian officials to understand our love for our son and how it breaks our hearts to have to wait so long. It's a seemingly needless wait. None of it makes sense to me. God's plan is not making sense to me. But I have no choice but to lay it at His feet. So I do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mid-week and nothing to report

Not a lot going on here. Pretty much just the usual stuff. The plays are done for now but both girls are talking about trying out for the next play. ~ My finger feels some better but continues to be swollen. I go back on Friday to have it looked at again. ~ We're having a little trouble getting in to the Christmas mood for obvious reasons. J didn't come home for Thanksgiving and unless things make a dramatic change it's not looking good for a Christmas homecoming either. It absolutely crushes me if I think about it too much. I'm kind of at a place where I just say, whatever Lord. I can't change things or move things. It's kind of a suffocating feeling and it's beyond my ability to understand. I'm really trying not to give in to the depression. I'm just so weary of the process. ~ We've had a lot of rain this last week and it was very much needed so we're thankful for that. The sun has been out yesterday and today. ~ R was talking to someone on the phone last night and when she hung up we asked who it was. She said it was her boyfriend. This was news to us. T seems quite happy for her. As long as she doesn't loose her focus on her goals I'm happy for her too. I think she'll do fine. She seems to take most things in stride. Well, that's it for now.
Amy

Friday, November 23, 2007

The hang nail gone awry


It was just a hang nail, I promise. This morning we decided that I should seek medical treatment for my fat finger. (It's the fat one in the pic, not the red one). My GP was closed. My dermatologist was closed. I was not going to go to an emergency room for a hang nail. I finally found a walk-in clinic that was open and it was on the closer, not so busy (as in, not near any shopping malls) side of town. Yay! ~ Now, I have worked at my current job for 2 1/2 years and had not called in sick. Until today. Because of the hang nail gone bad. It wasn't a problem but I had to ask and that was hard. ~ I expected the clinic to be over run with people and sickies coughing and hacking on everything but it wasn't. Pleasant surprise. I waited about a half hour, got into a room and waited another half hour. The doc comes in and says, "You have an infection called 'parnichia' (sp?) and we're going to take care of you." Treatment began with a shot. Not so pleasant surprise. So now my butt hurts too. Anyway, I got a script for antibiotics and then they took an X-ray. It was just a hang nail! They had to make sure the infection hasn't gotten into the bone or muscle tissue. And get this, if it's not better by Friday they will lance it. I am seriously hoping and praying that my hang nail gone awry does not lead to the use of sharp instruments in it's treatment. Watch out for those hang nails. They'll get you one day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone. We just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!...

...from our "bunch of turkeys" to yours!
That's not the headless horseman on the end, that's T. Hey, at least we were having fun.
And the girls wanted one with the cats. I am holding a cat, he's just so dark you can't see him. And the other two are looking at him because at the last second before the timer went off he looked at them and meowed. In the close up of the picture he looks like he's baring his fangs. Too funny.

The lack of J's presence was definitely felt today. We just have to trust that God knows what He's doing and surrender to His will. We did get a little update from the O that they had Thanksgiving dinner with all the kids and managed to get some pics of everyone together. That would be something to see, a family pic with 100 kids! Our O director reports that the kids had; " turkey, rice and peas(their choice!!!), dinner rolls, salad, custard pie, and juice." They also had a soccer game before lunch.
Something strange has been going on with my finger. Last week I had a hang nail and tried to pinch it off with my thumbnail and ended up pulling it. I put peroxide on it and a band-aid as it was bleeding and I was running out the door. When I got home I clipped it. It never really got over being sore. Yesterday it was very sore and when I looked at it, it was very swollen and warm. I must have some kind of little infection in there somehow. It's still swollen and occasionally warm and throbbing. It was just a hang nail for crying out loud! It lets me know how sore it is every time I bump it. It's my right index finger. You know, the one you do everything with. And I am scheduled to work most of the day tomorrow. You know, the busiest shopping day of the year. Sigh...
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

our hearts songs

video

I don't know what's going on with this, if it's our connection or what. I hope it works for you because I'm having a hard time getting it to load. Sorry if it doesn't work.

This is a video presentation that we put together last year for Adoption Awareness month. Most of the pics are from July ’06. Never mind the date printed on them. I wrote the song for J in June ’06. I never thought I’d still be singing it a year and a half later. I’m ready to sing a new song. It was recorded at our church, just kind of a “one take, play the keyboard and sing and hope it turns out” thing. This song and video presentation is copyrighted to us. We hope that you enjoy it but wouldn’t use it or post it in part or whole without our permission.

~ I don’t know exactly what to blog about. So much is on my mind. Since Thanksgiving is only three days away and we haven’t heard any news about the adoption moving forward, I’d say it’s safe to say that J won’t be here. Not that I think God can’t do it, just that it’s not time yet. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told king Nebbie, I know my God is able but even if He doesn’t, I won’t bow to your idol. I’m not going to bow to depression. I’m not going to bow to defeat. We just have to trust that God knows what He’s doing and surrender our will to His. It still hurts but we’re going to choose to be thankful anyway.

~ We’ve been enjoying some older movies that were popular “back in our day” with our girls. It’s funny to watch their reactions to the clothes and hairstyles that were popular then. We just finished Karate Kid. Something that spoke to me was that Daniel didn’t understand how the things he was doing were helping him learn karate. He couldn’t see how waxing the cars, sanding the deck and painting the house were teaching him what he needed to know. He did most of it without asking questions but finally got frustrated with this old man who he felt was “using him”. Then the old man showed him how to use what he had learned and the muscles that he had built. Maybe for right now we are waxing cars and painting a house and learning what we need to know.

~ I have some people who are concerned about me. I will be fine. Psalm 108:1-2 says, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” I can honestly say I was happy to be at church yesterday morning, singing and making music with all my soul. We will survive.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

No creativity in this title

I tried to post the other day but I just couldn't do it. The last time I posted I said my emotions were all over the board. Now I'm mostly just depressed. This road is too hard sometimes. So I'll write about other things.

There was an open house at work last night to kick off the Christmas season. We were very busy and had every kind of sweet treats you could think of. R was doing a play and A was at a friend's house. T just stayed in town since I didn't have a vehicle.

Speaking of vehicles, T is working on the truck today. He was going to move the gas tank from behind the seat to underneath. He cleaned up the new-used one and when he went to put it on, it didn't fit. Back to square one with that. He planned on having it road worthy this week. Sigh...he is working on door handles though and the brake lights do work now.

This afternoon A did the last play that she was working in. R's last play of that one was Wed. Now she has to finish up her other play and we can take a break. She still has tonight and then next Friday and Saturday. Both girls are already talking about trying out for the next one. Whew! I need a break.

Please pray for us. The adoption process feels overwhelming and like it will never end. I know Thanksgiving hasn't come and gone yet, but we haven't even gotten any news. Hence the depression.

Amy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall is in the air

We've actually had a little rain today. We're still so far behind for the year that we'll take whatever we can get. As far as J home by Thanksgiving goes we still haven't heard a thing. The human mind says, there's no way it could happen but the part of me that believes says it still could. My emotions are all over the board. One minute I'm sure we'll get good news and the next I'm depressed because we haven't heard anything. This is a hard road to walk, that's for sure.

Here are a few pics. I didn't think we'd get any color in the trees because of the drought but I've been pleasantly surprised. I may post a few more over the next few days. These are from yesterday. A and R took them when they went for a horse ride after school.

This is the newly weaned Lillybet.

This is the trail they ride up in the woods.


There's a little bit of color in the trees.

And there are some that are downright showing off.
A took a pic of R on my dad's horse, Arrow.
And R took a pic of A on my horse, Lady. R's horse, Bridget, is doing okay right now. She had sore feet again last week but seems all right for now. R did hop on her to see how she'd do and it was fine but she didn't want to push anything.

And another fall pretty. I'm not really sure what my favorite fall color is. I think it's the bright orange. Yellow is okay and I like red but there's something about the brilliant orange that I really like.

That's it for now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A few pics and a prayer request

It's been another interesting day at the zoo. I thought I'd share some pics with you. Here is what's left of Lillybet's bottle after the dogs got a hold of it.

This is Dexter on the ironing board. I was making some polar fleece pajama bottoms for J and as soon as I got the ironing board out Dexter was on it. He's not only on the board but on the pattern pieces too. And he has his nose tucked in to his paws. I love it when he sleeps like that.

This is Sona sitting on top of the ironing board and checking out the bottom of it. Maybe it's some version of quality control.
I love this one. Both cats got up there and Sona has her head resting on Dexter's butt. There he is again with the nose tucked into the paws. Too funny. Gotta love it.
We have a prayer request we’d like to share with you. In October I read Sherri’s blog (Everyday Miracle) entry titled “Becoming Real”. They also adopted from Haiti and in this post she talks about deciding to believe that her children would be home for Christmas. When it seemed like everything was against them, she believed they would be home for Christmas. I’ve always struggled with that concept for myself. Just because I believe something doesn’t mean God has to do it. Or what if I told someone that I believed something would happen and then it didn’t. What would that do to my faith and theirs, besides looking like a fool? But I began to pray about that and wonder if I could believe the same thing for our son. But Christmas was Sherri’s promise to believe in, not mine. A few more days went by and finally I had a date in mind. I shared with T about it without telling him the day and asked him to pray too and see if a date came to his mind. That was a Sunday morning. That evening I asked him if he’d prayed about it and he hadn’t really seriously prayed about it yet. That night the girls and I ended up laying on our bed and talking. I love those times with my girls. I told them what I had prayed about and that dad was going to pray too and wondered if they wanted to also. Then the conversation turned to other things.
The next day at about 2 in the afternoon T called me at work and said, “You know that thing you asked me to pray about? I did and the date that is in my mind is Thanksgiving. That he’ll be home by Thanksgiving.” I squealed, even though I was at work and said, “That’s my day too!” Later that evening I asked A if she had prayed about it and she said yes but she didn’t want to say the date in her head in case it was different than mine. I wonder where she gets that mindset from? Hmmm. Anyway, I told her that dad and I had Thanksgiving day in our heads. Her mouth kind of dropped open a bit and she said, “That’s what my day is. That he’ll be home by Thanksgiving.”
We chose to tell a few people. My mom was one of them. She said, “Hmm. I had that thought yesterday afternoon, that he'd be home by Thanksgiving.” Then we told our other “mother figure” about it and she got goose bumps just thinking about it. So that’s been in our hearts for over a month now but here it is less than two weeks from Thanksgiving and we haven’t heard a thing. The human mind says there is no way this could happen. It would absolutely take a miracle and we’d love for you to pray with us that J will be home by Thanksgiving this year, if the Lord wills it. We understand that believing something doesn’t make it so and like Shadrac, Meshac and Abednego said, we believe our God is able but even if He doesn’t choose too, we’re still going to praise Him. For the reasons I mentioned above, this is hard to share. Some might ridicule us or think we’re nuts but we felt it was time to share it. Will you pray with us, please?

Short Sat. morning update

The play went well last night and the goat refuses to take the other bottle. I guess she just weaned herself because we can't bring the other one back. One more night without T here. Sigh...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Taking a breather

Whew! What a crazy week this has been. A has a friend over and the friend fell asleep so A is reading. R is at the theater doing one of her plays. T is in MS on a "short, short-term" mission trip and here I am. We've barely had time to eat and sleep lately. The girls still seem happy about their decisions to do multiple plays. They both seem to thrive on it. R did admit to being a little tired but still says she's enjoying it. A and I took tickets and worked the concessions at last night's play so we got to see most of it. T is doing okay but didn't get much sleep. He's in a room with a couple of snorers. I said they should take turns with the CPAP machine. I actually miss the noise of the CPAP when T is gone. It has a calming, whooshing sound.

The dogs got a hold of the goat's bottle. They chewed the entire top of the bottle off. We can't find the ring or the nipple. Don't worry, we have a back up. The nipple on it is very flimsy though. Should be interesting. Oreo ate a check of mine once. My employer at that time had sent a package of scrap material and a check and the UPS man set it on the floor of the porch. I didn't even know it was there. T found some scrap material in the front yard and asked if I'd been working out there. All the packaging was gone. Every bit of paper was consumed. We had a very expensive dog, for a day or so. I was issued a new check amidst much laughter. This is the dog that brought us a pair of boxer shorts one day but I think I've already told that tale. (punny)

Please pray for us. The adoption wait is so hard. Sometimes it feels too hard to bear. Obviously, no news yet. I know God has a plan and I'm to praise Him even if I don't understand it. I have felt burdened to pray about it more than usual over the past couple of days. I keep 3 little devotional type books and always find it interesting how the one I pick up to read will speak to me so often. One of the books is "My Utmost for His Highest" and I think I read the wrong day today but even that was a God thing. The one I read today which was actually yesterday's was titled "The Unrivaled Power of Prayer" and the verse at the top is Romans 8:26 "We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." How weird is that? So then I decided to look at what I thought was yesterdays and was actually Wednesday's and it was titled "The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances". The verse for that one is Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to them that love God." I don't think I read those by accident. I don't think I got the days mixed up by accident. I think God used those writings for "such a time as this" and they spoke to me what I needed to hear.

I've been leery, or weary of our Thursday prayer days with the other people who are adopting through the same O that we are because we started it out with bad news 3 weeks in a row. Yesterday morning I decided that I was going to praise God, good news, bad news or no news. Guess what? No news. But I did praise God anyway, just like we learned in the movie "Facing the Giants". It's not an easy thing to do but I believe it's the right thing. My flesh wants to scream and holler and cry 'cause let's face it. I'm sick of this waiting. It makes no sense. I don't know how it can possibly be good. But I'm supposed to believe that God has a plan and praise Him anyway. So I do. I praise Him that the kids are healthy. I praise Him for the beautiful colors on the trees. I praise Him for the sunsets that it feels like He painted just for me. I praise Him that the bills are paid (at the moment anyway). I praise Him for the love of a good man, a man who loves God. I praise Him for our goofy critters. I praise Him for a warm bed and for letting us discover down comforters. Life is hard but God is good.
Amy

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here we go

It has officially begun. Even though the girls have been practicing the two plays with 3 rehearsal schedules, both plays have now officially begun. R started her run last week with final dress rehearsal on Thur. evening, plays on Friday and Sat. evening and Sunday afternoon. This show is a regular one. It runs about 2 hours. Then they did 2 "school shows" of that play during the day on Monday. School shows are where students come and watch the shows as a field trip. A had final dress rehearsals Mon. and Tues. afternoon and she has school shows today and R has final dress rehearsal for this play this afternoon. Then she does this play tomorrow for school shows during the day (they run it 3 times-it's only about a 35 minute play) and the other play in the evening. A has school shows again Friday during the day and R has the other play in the evening. Still with me? Saturday R has the short play in the afternoon and the long play in the evening. Then the long one Sunday afternoon. Whew! Then next week we do it again. So we basically live at the theater right now. Both girls are happy as larks doing this. I wonder how they'll feel by Sunday evening though. After these plays are done I think we'll take a little break for a while. Maybe we'll have a little boy here to concentrate on. Oh please, Lord, let it be so.
Amy

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A few newer pics

We got a little update today saying nothing has progressed on the adoption front. The lawyer was out of town and will be back tomorrow as I understand it. Last week between the tropical storm and the national holidays in Haiti nothing got done. And this week one of the O workers has been checking on papers and nothing has been done. Maybe the lawyer will make some headway. Please, Lord, let J come home.

I thought I'd share some newer pics with you. This first one is at the O. I told you his face was expressive! I don't know what that expression is, but it's definitely something. Maybe he was trying to do the funny lip thing that his daddy showed him when we were there in June. That looks like a possibility. Or maybe somebody "did a boom" as J calls it.
This one is in church or Sunday school, I'm not sure which. J is on the left. There's that expressive face again. I'd say he's really enjoying it, wouldn't you?

This is at the baby's/girl's house where the kids can use Skype to call home on Sunday afternoons. J is talking to us.
Oh yes, he's happy about talking to his family.

That's it for now. Please keep praying for us. The wait is so painfully long.

Amy

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I know, it's been a few days. Wow, so much has been going on. We went to the last dress rehearsal for R's play Thur. night. They did well and it's a good play but they had several set change issues to work out. R said they got them worked out and Friday went real well. R ended up sliding across the stage on her knee at one point and has a nice bruised floorburn thing to show for it. The other play that the girls are in open this week plus they have added on performances of the first play so R will practically live at the theater.

We had a nice, though short visit with T's aunt and uncle. They got in late Thur. evening and stayed until Sat. morning. They park their motorcoach in the front yard and plug it in and they're ready.

We had a nice church service. It was very nice to be at church last Sunday and not have to lead music but it actually felt good to lead again this morning. It's still not what I'd rather be doing but after two weeks off, I was okay with it. One lady did a special performance this morning of signing (doing sign language) to the Nicole C. Mullen song "When I Call On Jesus" and that was beautiful. I love that song anyway but to see it in sign language was very moving.

T is going on a short "mission trip" this week with a few others to help some people from our church whose house was damaged in Katrina. They have now bought a house here and need to do a few more things to their other house so it can be sold.

Things are really cooling off here. Still not much rain and the trees are just kind of turning brown and falling off. There is a little color in the leaves but it's pretty drab looking. Lillybet, the goat, is eating like she's storing up for winter. Her little belly sticks out on both sides. All the animals are getting their winter coats. I love it when they do that. The horses are so soft and Lillybet is fluffy. I got some material today to make beds for the dogs for winter. I get the $1 a yard flannel and fill it with cedar shavings in the hopes that they will smell better. They love them. Then about the time they start falling apart in the spring we can just scoop them up and throw them away.

I hope we get some good news this week on the adoption papers. I'm so happy the Fry's have finally brought their children home. You can check out their story following the link for them in my "blogs I read" list. They've waited a long time for this. I hope we're right behind them.

Well, we've got a busy week ahead with work, school, plays, mission trip, etc. I'll post as I can.
Amy

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hallelujah pics, etc.

I’ve been working on this post for a couple of days. Everything is so crazy around here and our DSL is so slow that it's hard to upload pics. T’s aunt and uncle did get in late last night. They saw my parents but we haven’t seen them yet because we were at the last dress rehearsal of R’s play that opens tonight. They had some problems with set changes but otherwise it went very well. It’s going to be a good play.

The Hallelujah Harvest party went well too. We gave away 24 cakes in the cake walk. The kids played lots of games and got a lot of candy. The hay bale maze was a big hit again as it always is. It’s funny, we get done and are cleaning up from one and we start planning “next year let’s do this”. We just need to remember to write the ideas down one of these years so we remember for the next year.

No news yet on the adoption front.

I had all this stuff in my head that I wanted to blog about and now it’s just gone. Maybe it will show up again in a later post. So here are some pics from the party in no particular order.

This is one of our deacons dressed up as our elder. They guy shaved the top of his head so he could look like him. Too funny. People kind of knew who he was dressed as but they didn't recognize who he really was. He didn't have a hearing aid (the "elder" is my dad and he uses hearing aids in both ears) so he borrowed this megaphone thing. It was hysterical.


These are my parents, the Rhinestone Cowgirl and the National Ping Pong Champ. On the back of the shirt it says "Gump 01".


That's me over there as Pippi Longstocking. I had the monkey and the mismatched socks and all and people kept calling me Wendy, I guess from the Wendy's commercial.

Close up of Pippi and Mr. Neilson. The red hair dye was fun getting out.


One of the 24 cakes we gave away. This one was shaped like a pumpkin. Very creative.


Another set of "twins".

Here's the other set again.

R doing face painting on a little guy.


R with A sneaking in to the pic.

Hay bale maze without the covering.


The "a-maze-ing" guys.

That's it for now. Gotta run.