Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
There are a whole range of emotions that you go through during an adoption. Just like being pregnant, you wonder if it will all turn out okay, what will the child look like, what will they act like, what will their personality be? Above all else you just want them to be healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. I’ve done both. We have two bio daughters and even though the second pregnancy and birth were rather difficult I still think it was easier than this adoption process. I had a good idea that the baby was going to be here within a specific amount of time. Sometimes I swear the waiting involved in the adoption process could drive me crazy. It makes no sense whatsoever.
I told you about the cars and how they both died within a 24 hour period. I was never worried about the cars because I knew that God would provide one way or another. I wondered then and I still wonder how I could trust God about the cars but I can’t trust Him about our son. Ultimately I have to get to the place where I can say, “Lord, I trust You with J. You love him more than I ever could and Your word says that You have his best interest at heart. I give him and the adoption process You.” I say that often, daily even. I’m not sure I totally mean it though. If I really meant it, I wouldn’t worry and fuss about the wait. If I truly believed it I wouldn’t pray “Lord, please bring J home. Let us hear good news today” every waking hour of every day. I wouldn’t “give it to God” only to take it back again a few minutes later.
I struggle with the fine line between being content in the Lord’s will and also being commanded to pray. If I’m not thinking about J and praying for him and the process then I feel like I’m somehow not acknowledging his existence. He does exist and we believe that God chose him to be part of our family. So then it becomes a big circle of praying and pleading with God to move and to bring our son home around to a place of turning him over to God. It feels like a huge circle going round and round and I’m not sure where I’m supposed to get off.
I remember dealing with similar feelings when we were building the house and T was out of work. I can remember asking God what would be so wrong about T having a job. Each job he interviewed for and didn’t get I would ask that. What would be so wrong about having a job? I can’t explain everything I felt during that time but we do believe that T is at the perfect job for him right now. It just wasn’t available when we first thought he needed it. He had to go through several short term jobs until the one where he was supposed to be became available. That was a hard process. Did we grow as a family? Yes. Did our faith grow? Yes. Was our marriage strengthened? Yes. What was meant for bad, God made good.
I also dealt with during that same time several times where I had to “give it to God” or “let go and let God.” That is not always an easy thing to learn. I remember Dexter being gone for several days and I was sure that he’d been eaten by a coyote or something. I was angry with God for taking my beloved cat. I actually had this conversation with God in my head one day. I still know exactly where I was standing in Mrs. H’s house (we were living with her while we built our house) when this occurred. I was begging God to bring the cat back, to let us find him. I sensed that God was saying to me to release the cat to His will. I told God no, that I wanted the goofy (I didn’t say goofy at the time but now I think it’s a little goofy) cat back. There was a real struggle in me of whether or not I would release control. I finally thought if I can’t trust God over a cat, how was I ever going to trust Him for a house and a job. I surrendered the cat to God’s will. It felt like an action. That was in the morning. We dropped the kids off at school and went to work on the house. On the way to Mrs. H’s that evening I saw what I thought was the cat. We stopped the car and I want you to know that I crawled under a pile of thorny, bushy junk to get that goofy cat. I stuffed him in my jacket and crawled back out. It turned out that he was afraid of a stray dog that had showed up so he wouldn’t come to the house. He’d been missing for about a week. God used a missing cat to show me a life lesson.
If you know me or have read my profile you know that I lead worship at our church. I get a sneak peak each week of what the sermon is about so I can kind of coordinate music. Sunday’s sermon was on stewardship. He used Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” One of the songs we picked was “I Surrender All”. Boy, howdy. Just like with Dexter I felt that pull, that need to truly surrender J and the adoption process to God. Pastor even asked if there was anyone who needed to come up and pray. I was thinking oh yeah, I do. I needed to be at a place of total and complete surrender to God. About the adoption, J, T and the girls, everything in my life. My mind says, would it be so wrong to have J home? Is that the wrong thing to want? But a check in my spirit says I need to surrender it all.
I think I’ve come to a place of surrender. I hope I have anyway. I’ve been reading about Nate and Tricia and Gwyneth and their story with surrendering to God’s will. They are also thinking about and writing about organ donation. I’m about halfway through Charles Martin’s book “When Crickets Cry” which also deals with organ donation. This morning as I was thinking about surrender and thinking about organ donation I thought, I don’t want to be in a place where I have to loose a loved one and donate their organs or in a place where I or a loved one need an organ transplant. Why is God bringing these things in my life right now? I wondered if I truly was surrendering ALL to God. Wow, that hit hard. But then I thought, the best place to be is in God’s will. I’m probably not always going to like it and it’s not always going to be easy, but it’s where I want to be. None of us has guarantees in life. We don’t know what the next minute, hour or day will hold. I truly want to be in a place of surrender to Jesus. Maybe we’ll hear some good adoption news today, maybe J will never come home. I don’t know the answer to that. Another question that keeps "niggling" me is, am I as intent on my relationship with God as I am on getting J home? But that's a whole other post. :) Life is fragile and sweet. We have to find joy in the journey. We’re not guaranteed that we or our loved ones will return home safe each night or wake up the next day. Each day is a gift. Sometimes I want to scream at this stupid adoption process. I grieve for the time I’ve missed with J. But ultimately God loves him more than I ever could and things have to happen in His time. Whether we understand it or not, He does have our best interest in mind. “All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
Sunday, January 27, 2008
It seems like the fat finger saga is continuing in a new vein. I think I have a fingernail fungus infection in it now and that is why the nail has pulled away from the nail bed. It was just a hangnail for crying out loud. I still don't understand how removing the side of the nail helped the swelling and pain, but it did. Now this. Sigh...
I was working today and T was working on fence to increase our pasture. The girls were at play practice so no one was here to talk to J. I haven't talked to him since before Christmas so I'm really missing him. I just wish he could come home.
Oh, quick story. R's boyfriend has cats too. It seems that one of them lit his tail on fire by getting to close to the gas heater. He was running around the house and they were trying to put his tail out before he set the house on fire. It didn't even faze the cat much and he went back over and rubbed against the heater again. Crazy cat! We had one once that used to sit over the old gas furnace we had in a rental house. His whiskers were always singed and curled on the ends. Okay, that's it for cat stories for today.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Please keep Lydia Livesay in your prayers. She is the 3 or 4 month old baby of Troy and Tara Livesay who just went back to Haiti. Lyddie is in a PAP hospital with bacterial meningitis. You can keep updated on her here; www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com Also remember baby Gwyneth Rose who has some distention in her bowels. Her updates are at; www.cfhusband.blogspot.com Both of these blogs are listed under my "Blogs that I read" list.
Remember in one of my last posts I said that there was a cat purring behind me? Here is a pic of the way that cat curls up behind me in my chair at the computer.
And another one. Look at her toes.
This is Dexter sprawled out on the back of the recliner where A is reading a book. Yeah, he's looking pretty relaxed.
I know I show a lot of these pics of Sanome in the laundry but I think it's just too funny. She watches us when we do laundry and when we take it out of the dryer she really perks up. Then we dump it out on the bed to fold it and she comes running and leaps up onto the bed. She just loves to root through it and get snuggled up in the warm clothes. This is from today.
When T came home he found the other two cats curled up in his chair. They seem to pick a favorite spot for a period of time and then they move on to another favorite spot. Right now this is a favorite for both of them. Misty is giving me "the eye".
She was out of it in this one.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
No adoption news yet today. Sigh...
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
T and the kids were off yesterday for MLK Day. The news kept saying that we might have freezing rain/snow this morning and we thought we might get another day off. Nope, it was 34 degrees and raining when we got up so off to school/work we went. I was scheduled to teach 5 Abstinence classes this morning. Right after the first class they informed me that school was closing at 11. Huh?!? It was open early this morning when it was 34 and raining and now that it is 40 and raining, they close. I've heard two reasonings for this. One is that part of the county is/was icy and not all the kids could get to school. The other is that it might actually snow or freeze this afternoon. Either way, I finished two more classes and then I picked up the girls and came home. We're going to bake cookies. Tomorrow I'm not scheduled to work so I'll go back to school and do the two classes that I didn't get to today. That's the change subject to plan.
I was reading Leslie's blog and they are waiting on a child too. They are living in Haiti so they are waiting on a newborn or very young infant to adopt and they will be able to parent her from the beginning. The wait is getting to her. How well I understand. It's been 28 months of waiting for us. I've been thinking the end was near for over 6 months now. He's been legally ours for almost 8 months. This is insane. Some days it feels like he'll never come home and hoping hurts too much. Proverbs 13:12 says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." My hope has been deferred for so long that at times my heart actually hurts. It hurts so bad. I'm so ready to experience the longing fulfilled. It's been so long that I can't even imagine it anymore. I used to dream about how it would feel to bring him home, to show him his room and all the things that we've prepared for him. I don't even imagine it anymore because it hurts too much to hope. That's sad. I grieve for the lost time with him.
Hmm, it seems like a lot of my posts these days are following this vein. And like the other posts, now I must think of some things I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for a cat curled up behind me purring like a little engine. I can't figure out why she's purring, but she purrs a lot so she must be a happy cat. I'm thankful for the time at home today. I'm thankful that so far this week the cars have decided to run. I'm thankful for a fireplace and that T had a fire going in it when I got home from work yesterday. I'm thankful that Tricia is awake and talking. How cool is that?!? And I'm thankful that the Lord created chocolate. I really need some right now. The darker the better.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I have to say Happy Birthday to my cousin, D! Her birthday was yesterday. We were like sisters in our very early years.
R got to talk to J on skype today. She said he was very talkative and sang her a song. He was cutting up and making jokes and he asked for some blue tennis shoes, size 6. Yeah, right. The kid does not have a size 6 foot. Goofy thing. I missed him because I was visiting at my parent's house with a Haitian pastor and friends and family. We had a nice visit though. A couple that was there adopted from Guatemala. They started their process a few months before we did and their son has been home for almost a year now.
Please pray with several of us that are so close to bringing our kids home from the same O but we can't seem to move forward with the process. It's so heartbreaking. We're praying that this is a week of lots of breakthrough and forward movement. Sometimes I'm not sure God is listening to me anymore but then I think about Tricia and Gwyneth and it encourages me to keep going, to keep praying. Thanks. And now I think I'll rest.
Friday, January 18, 2008
The bad news is we still haven't heard a thing about our adoption process.
The ugly is the way I feel about not hearing anything. I didn't get real flustered about the cars this week. I trusted that God could take care of us whatever happened with them. It could have seriously blown my week apart but for some reason I found it funny. They are things, but J is a human being. If I can trust God about the cars why can't I trust that He is doing His best for J? I am so seriously sick of the adoption process that I want to scream. I want to lay on the floor and kick and scream and throw a hissy fit. But no one is home so it wouldn't do much good. God is the only one who would see and He seems to respond the same way I responded when my kids threw a fit. He doesn't buy it. It doesn't move Him. Why does this have to be so hard? How is it possibly good? I don't know the answers to those questions and it drives me nuts. I so desperately want to hear some good news. I need to hear some good news. It's Friday and every week that goes by with no news is harder and harder to bear.
I guess that in my recent life theme of "praising God anyway" I need to think of some things to be thankful for. Let's see. Both cars are running. Smart hubby. Kids that got good report cards and helped out when needed. Mrs. H is feeling pretty good considering she has gall stones. We're all relatively healthy. Friends and family who helped out with rides, cars, etc. this week. It was pay week X2 (T and I both got paid this week-he gets paid once a month). We have clothes to wear and a house to clean. Down comforters-I had no idea how wonderful they were until I tried one. Tricia and Gwyneth are doing well (check them out at www.cfhusband.blogspot.com or link is under my blogs that I read). I no longer have tears streaming down my face from writing the previous paragraph. See, being thankful helps.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
T was stuck at work all evening. Computers went down and he had to stay until they were up and going. Obviously he couldn't work on the vehicles since he was working on computers. Enter good friend from last night. He looked at the Jeep and put some tranny fluid in it and came and got R. She drove it home and he followed behind to make sure it was ok. Thanks M!! He thinks it's just a broken tab on a hose that goes from the transmission to the radiator, or something like that. We're praying that's all it is. He is taking tomorrow off to work on the vehicles.
R is staying with Mrs. H tonight to make sure she's okay on the pain meds. She didn't even hesitate when we asked her if she would stay the night with Mrs. H. She did a lot of grown up, responsible things this evening.
When T and I finally got home we went out to check on the van. Guess what? It started. Glory to God. We'll still need to replace the battery but we're thrilled that it started.
What a week so far, and it's only Tuesday. Things to be thankful for; Mrs. H has no infection or obstruction and could come home. R and A's good attitudes and willingness to do what was needed. They got good report cards today too. The van started and ran fine. The Jeep got home and may just need a hose replaced. Good friends! The Jeep stalled at a place where there was room to get way off the road. This is especially miraculous considering the road he was on. The van stalled at the end of the driveway and we were able to get it into the barn by pushing it with the tractor. I'm really impressed with this new med. I had a sample of it for about 4 months and finally decided to try it. It's good to know that when the fibro is really bad I have something that can help. God is good. All the time.
This morning right after T and the girls left for school/work I got a call from T that something burned up on the Jeep. I didn't believe him. He kept telling me he was serious and I kept saying, no way. He hung up to look at it. Then he made a phone call and called me back. He told me where he was, that "the neighbor" took the girls to school (I don't even know yet which neighbor) that someone was stopping to get him to take him to work, and that he'd call that nice friend from church back and see if he could help haul home another one of our broken down vehicles. You know what I say? Ha!! It's all so crazy that you just have to laugh. It's funny. He is suspecting the transmission on the Jeep. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to drive a car with less than 100K miles on it. Both of these vehicles have long since passed that mark. The Jeep has 208K and the van has 189K. Apart from the fact that neither one of them work, they are really good vehicles. Really. I hope the transmission isn't shot. If it is, it's probably not worth repairing. Time will tell. I'll keep you posted.
I drove my dad's huge truck to teach my Abstinence classes this morning. I feel very small in it. We have another friend who has offered their truck to us while they are out of town this weekend. I thought that was very brave of them to offer, considering our current track record. I think we can figure out how to juggle the rides tomorrow IF the van decides to run. Otherwise I'm not so sure. We have one vehicle left. It's T's '66 Chevy stepside that has yet to be on the road since we've owned it. It's very close to being on the road, but not there yet. I figure it's pretty safe though. The only thing that could happen to it is for a tree or the carport to fall on it. A friend told me this morning about a Chuck Swindoll quote that goes something like this; Some of life's greatest opportunities come to us cleverly disguised as impossible situations. To that I say, "Have at it, Lord!"
Sunday, January 13, 2008
In this pic we think he's more towards the middle. Heck, we're not sure if we're even pointing out our kid.
This is a pretty good one. They seem to all be in it and somewhat looking at the camera. I love the boy on the left "holding" the other little guy. It looks like he's about to drop him. You can tell he's slipped a little since the above pic. He was probably getting tired of holding him. Too funny. Poor kid (both of them).
Friday, January 11, 2008
The cats do a lot of play fighting. It usually starts with a slap of the paw...
...and proceeds to full blown wrestling. Goofy animals.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I had a bad fibro day yesterday. I had a massage and sometimes I end up feeling sore afterwards and sometimes not. I just never know which it's going to be until a couple hours afterwards. Sigh...today was better though.
We are 28 months into the adoption process now. J has officially been our son for 7 1/2 months. We just need the signature from MOI to get the passport and then the visa and we can bring him home. It all seems so very wrong to have to wait so long and yet I have to believe that God is in control. It's so hard. I get scared sometimes thinking about why I need to have this much patience.
What's left of the nail on what was my "fat finger" is pulling away from the side a little bit. I'm not sure what's up with that.
Work was pretty good today. It was slow but I had a good time cutting up with a few of the dealers. I appreciate the relationships that come from my part time job. Living in a small town is usually pretty fun too. We have quite a few people that others might label eccentric. Makes it very interesting.
Our whole little church is getting pretty excited about our celebration Sunday and our special guest singer. I was telling a friend that I was a bit nervous about having to lead worship in front of our guest but she reminded me in a funny way that we are all human. Ha! Thanks D. Our practice went well last night though. I was able to share with my small group about Tricia and baby Gwyneth. Please keep them in your prayers. The link to their blog is in the previous post. Things are going as well as can be expected but the next 24 hours is critical for both of them. Please keep praying about this crazy adoption process too. I've been thinking the end was near for 6 months now. I never dreamed we'd be starting 2008 without J here.
That's my ramblings for now.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Here are some deer grazing in the mountains.
My "brudder" (my older brother) driving a go-cart. He bumped his daughter and got her stuck against the side of the track until an attendant could come and push her off.
Me, waving from my go-cart. The hill we were going down in these pics is much larger when you're actually in the cart than when you are looking at it in pictures. It really is.
R, in her cart. The pics I have of A are a little blurry. Probably due to the rate of speed she was driving at. She passed everyone up.
Icicles hanging from the side of the opening to a cave.
Snow on the side of the road. We don't get much snow in TN. Every once in a while we get 4-6 inches. It's been about 4 years since we've had that much. But if you consider how hilly and curvy the roads are and our lack of snow experience it's probably good that it only comes like that every few years. Of course, school closes for every flake that flies.
More of the same.
I love this pic of the frozen fountain. I just think it's beautiful.
My dad has some more pics. If I get some from him that are blog worthy, I'll share.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
We had a very nice few days with my family. R got to ski for the first time compliments of her uncle. She actually made it down the hill once without falling. She took out two different people on two separate occasions. She was sliding on her butt, hollering at them to look out when she took them out. My nephew has been skiing before but when he tried a different run he said he went down it the first time on his back. He also said he went faster on his back than he did the other times on his skis. Too funny. We celebrated my parent's 45th Anniversary and my 40th birthday. We rode go-karts, played laser tag, shopped, played more games, sang and played guitar, and laughed a lot. A has a confirmed nickname now. It ends in "nator" (think the "Terminator") since she passed all of us up in the go-karting. She says it's all the Need for Speed video games that make her so good at it. She can try for her learner's permit in Feb. We are scared.
It's good to be home. I missed my bed with the touch foam mattress pad. Our cats were very busy (or maybe stir crazy) while we were gone. One of them left a present near the end of our bed. Judging by the skid marks on the carpet it was a dangler that needed help letting go. One of them left a hairball in the dining room. Rugs were scattered, things were tipped over. Yes, they were very busy indeed.
I'll post pics when I can. I need to make some dinner as the natives are restless. I also need to unload my new flatware from the dish washer. Yay! I've been hunting for it for about six months and was able to find it at an outlet for a better price than I've seen anywhere. With Christmas and birthday money from multiple sources I was able to get what I really wanted. I'm so excited.
The only thing that would have made the trip better was to have been able to share it with our son. No news yet. Sigh...