Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bye for a while...

We are headed to the beach for a few days. This is a trip we planned(and paid for) back in Dec. and it is finally here. We will get to spend the week with our Atwood Family (well eight of them anyway). These are a special group of people (then they were college students), who came to our house every Thurs. night to eat dinner and hang out. Over the course of six years we made lasting relationships with 18+ college students who became family to us. We truly feel that it is the bond of Christ that unites us, not the blood that runs through our veins. We have seen several of them go on to get married, have children, go into full time ministry and just become some of the most extrordinary people I know.

Well, I spoke with our program coordinator this morning and she said we are on the waiting list for a referral...YEAAAAAA! She said she would call me back with a time line, but that it could come at any time. So, we are just so excited and can't wait to see his little face. Just a little side story...Three years ago, almost to the date, we were heading to the beach with this same group of freinds and we had just (day before we left) recieved the referral and pictures of our son Micah. How cool would it be to get the referral for Isaac while we are on this vacation? Please continue to keep Isaac in your prayers. Oh, and our PC (Program Coordinator) said she would need our BIG chunk of money in about a week...YIKES! So, please keep that in your prayers as well, because we do not have it.

I know some of you may be thinking, "Why are you going on vacation when you don't have the money for your adoption?" I want you to know this has been a torment for us, but truthfully, we did pay for the trip several months before we began the adoption process and it would not be of any benefit to pull out now. So, we say good-bye for a while.

Friday, July 20, 2007

CIS approved!!!!

Well, I got a phone call from a friend this morning and she told me they had received their approval letter from CIS. So, naturally I am excited for them and waiting on pins and needles for our mail to run. When it does finally run we are all sitting outside just waiting for the mail man to put the mail in our box so we can check it. When he walks away, I run over open it and see the USCIS seal on the envelope. I could not contain my excitement. YEaaaaaaaaEEEAAa!!!!

So, we got it notarized and to the post office today. It is officially in the mail to be authenticated along with the rest of our dossier. It should be on its way (by Monday) to the US Sec. of State and then the Ethiopian Embassy and from there to Ethiopia to be translated. This should take about five weeks.

BUT...I spoke with our Ethiopian Coordinator and she said that three things had to be done to be put on the wait list for referral;Agency Approval- CHECK; CIS Approval-CHECK; Dossier authentication at Embassy level(should be done in a week from Monday)-then CHECK.
So, I ask "Does this mean in a week we would be on a list for referral and if there is a child waiting we could get the referral?" Drum roll...."YES!"

She is supposed to call me on Monday to firm up these details, but we are holding out hope she is correct in what she has told us and we could be well on our way to bring our little boy home.

"The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe." Proverbs 29:25
We do not trust in man to bring our child home, we put all hope, faith, and trust in the Lord for our sons journey home.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ahhh.. the world of Technology

So, for the past week or so my son has become totally entrenched into the world of, computer, v-tech(kid's video game system) and of course TV. That's all he wants to do. He could spend an hour on the computer, by himself mind you, playing nick jr. or pbs kids. He has also rediscovered his video game system he got for Christmas and wakes up wanting to play it. As nice as it is, sometimes I think, "What is this doing to my child?" There has to be good in it right? He is gaining solving problem skills and much more, right? I tried to get a game (memory cards) out for us to play together the other day and he played for five minutes and was done with it. We try to get him to sit down and draw or write and he will do it for five minutes, but put a screen in his face and he can do it for 30+mins. I have a feeling it probably only gets worse.

Well, on another note, he is doing fabulous on his bike. He can stand up and coast down hills on it. He likes to skid to a halt, sliding his back wheel around when he does it. Such a big boy. His daddy has everything to do with that though. They go on bike rides everyday. What will I do when Daddy starts back to school...aghhh!

No news on the adoption front, just waiting for our CIS approval letter. Kate at KBS says " Just waiting on your letter and your dossier will be complete on ready to be sent to DC." So, I go to the mailbox everyday hoping to open it and it be there. We had our fingerprints for CIS done on June 8th and they received our homestudy on July 7th (they have to have this to complete the process for approval). Please be praying it comes soon. The rainy season begins in Ethiopia in August, so not much is done during this time. I am not exactly sure how long the rainy season last, I think through Sept. Please pray this doesn't hold us up to long. I have heard you can still receive a referral during this time, but that is about it. So, no court and no travel, which we are not expecting to do during then anyway, but it would be nice to get a referral and pictures of our little boy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sibling Group

I read about this on a blog I read regularly and felt it needed to be spread to as many in people as possible. Please Pray.

I feel compelled to post a story about these 3 Ethiopian teenage siblings who NEED to be adopted SOON. Genet, Aschalo, and Yesalemu.

I have thought about posting this story before and then I didn't, but I was just reading more about these sweet teenagers and felt like I HAD to post it because you just never know who will come across this....Ok, their story is at the The Page Family blog. If you click that link you will see these 3 teenagers who were just in the US for 2 weeks staying with the Page family who was hosting them. They were here with Gladney's Bright Future Camp. The Page Family did a great job at describing their personalities, interests, etc. They all live in an orphanage in Addis Ababa. The oldest sibling, Aschalo, is 16 about to be 17. When he turns 17 he is no longer able to be adopted, which would mean he would be in Ethiopia with very little opportunity. While we were in Addis, Ryan and Abby told us that when the kids age out of the system in Ethiopia they are given the equivalent of $400 and put out on the street. It is really so sad. When I read this sibling groups story my heart just breaks...they are so heavy on my heart right now. There has got to be a family who feels called to adopt these sweet faces. You can read more about these precious faces at This Link.

Jesus, please bring these sweet kids a family.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hope For Durham

We had an amazing day yesterday loving the city of Durham. As many of you know we attend the Summit Church in Durham. The Summit has been involved in city projects that express our love for Durham and this past week was the culmination of all the activities.

Our pastor JD expresses it well,"God reminded me while I was driving around to the different Hope for Durham projects today that one who follows Jesus goes where Jesus goes and does what he does. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't mean coming to have Him inspire you once a week on Sunday.

We are getting back so many great stories and responses. People are getting saved.

We have had many interviews this week from newspaper and television outlets (check out this new one in Raleigh's N&O). One question we've been asked is, "Are you doing this in an attempt to convert people?"

In one sense, No. We want to bless and love our neighbors whether they believe what we do or not. But in another sense, we would be doing an injustice to our neighbors to not point beyond our rather small acts of love to His most incredible act of love. That was when God met our greatest need, by sending Jesus to die for us, provide forgiveness and power for new life to all who would believe Him! All of our "little" acts of love are ultimately based on that one, and point to that one. In serving our neighbors this week, we are trying to put that love on display."

Trevor and I served yesterday at one of the trash pick-ups and block parties in a inner city apartment complex. We had a blast loving these kids and Trevor had an oppurtunity to share the message of hope to a 6yr. old boy. It was an amazing chance for us to see this city through Christ eyes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


What a day we had. Actually what a day Micah had. A friend of ours Miranda and her two sweet boys invited us to go swimming at the YMCA with them this morning. I have to say I am a nervous nelly with Micah in pools. So, this is the first time in a long while since he has gone to a pool. Well, we got there and to my astonishment it cost us $15 for a day pass. We got in the kiddy pool with my friends kids and had a good, safe time. We stayed about an hour and half, then it was lunch time so we went home.

So, I get home and I'm thinking we paid $15 for a day pass we ought to go back. Well the pass was for one adult and dependants. So, Trevor took Micah back this time. They stayed for 4hrs. Trev said we were going to get our moneys worth. And boy did we. Micah had a blast. He was fearless! Which a lot of times is just not my boy. I am so proud of him. So, I want to say a big thank you to Miranda who invited us to go and in returned we learned that our little boy loves the pool.

Micah got really brave in the pool. Not only did he walk out with his Dad into water up to his neck, he started jumping in, going underwater and popping back up.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Did It.

"Did what?" says you. I cut my hair off, as you can see in the photo below. I grew it out for two years, got it half way down my back and couldn't take it any longer. For some, this is no shock. So, there it is in all its glory.

More Free Stuff!
WF has free movies at 10am in the morning two days a week for children. We took Micah today to see the Ant Bully. They are showing Over the Hedge tomorrow, but we will not be viewing this flick. Thank you Jamie for the inside scoop and joining us at the movies. We are having so much fun this summer filling our days with all the free things we can find. So far we have had success each week.

We have been here a year now, as of June 30th. Can you believe it? I can't. It has flown by. We have always liked it here, but it is hard to make friends not just acquaintances. We finally feel like we are there. We have gotten really close to our neighbors, we love them. Our small group from church is wonderful. The women have all welcomed me with open arms and have always made me feel at home. Now, we are on the other side welcoming in the new seminary students and their families. We had dinner tonight with a couple who just moved here a month ago to attend seminary. They have also been attending The Summit Church and our small group. They are a sweet couple who we look forward to getting to know better. We are so thankful for all the relationships God has put in our lives.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sad NEWS...

I had a rare chance to watch the CBS Evening news tonight and saw a horrifying story of Baghdad orphans. It was a story about a US soldier who adopted one of those orphans 4 year ago and found out what has happened to the rest of the children left behind. It is a disturbing story, but one to be aware of. There is a need for all believers to be in prayer for how we will respond when news like this is put before us. What will we do?

Matthew 28:19 says,"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."

James 1:27 says,"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress..."

Jesus has rescued us from death and has given us life. He has adopted us as His children,"so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." Galatians 4:5

If we are believers we are called to be Christ to others, what better way than to take in an orphan, to whom you can give life, not only in the necessities of food and shelter but most importantly in sharing the hope we have in Jesus. That is the only real life we have.

Pray about it. Ask God to show you what you can do. If you ask be ready to follow.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Cherishing the sweet moments

Do you ever feel as though you are to critical of your children? I do. I am the mother that from the time my child came home at 14mos. until he was 3 got compliments on how well manner and sweet and cute my child was. Now, I am picking him up from Sunday School and I am being told he is kicking and not listening. His temperament has become such an issue over the past few months that I sometimes feel like I am at my wits end. So, what do I then begin to do? I compare him to other children and find all his faults.

So, I wanted to take this time to share some of his sweet moments:
-We tell him quite often he is such a hugger. He loves to give them out to whoever will take one.
-He tells me he loves me all day long, sometimes with one of those great big hugs.
-He always tells me "thank you and may I be excused," when he leaves the table.
-He loves to help me do laundry.
-or help his daddy fix whatever may be broken.
-His laugh is so intoxicating. It is so pure.
-He loves to pray at night for others, he has a list and he likes to pick out who we will pray for.
-He says "I'll be patient while I wait for my baby brother to come home."

These are just a few, I could go on and on. But it is good to remind myself of those moments and cherish them in my heart. He is a gift from God and I want to bring glory to God in raising him.

Is that Micah or Gloria Vanderbilt?

"I'm singing in the rain..."

Friday, July 6, 2007

Being peed on and other fun stuff...

I have to tell you a funny story. We have been getting Micah up at night before we go to sleep, 11:30ish p.m. so he can pee one last time before we all go to sleep and he doesn't wakes up in the morning wet. Well last night I got him up like normal and he was sitting on the potty half asleep and I was holding him up, then all of a sudden I feel something warm and wet all over my shirt, then my pants and I realize I am being peed on...YUCK. I have never been peed on before, not even by a baby. So, I guess I have been christened and it was by a four year old, who by the way was oblivious to the whole thing. He managed to stay dry and went right back to sleep.

Well on the decorating front I have been checking out a few things and here are a few things I have picked out that I thought would be easy to change to. I have been checking EBay for the frames. I thought if I bought one a month, by the time Isaac comes home I will have enough.
The chair is something I really want because Micah has one just like it and it has his name on it. He uses it all throughout the day. I think I want the light blue color, Micah's is red.

New news on the adoption. Our agency has officially sent our homestudy to CIS. YEAAAA! But then they told us it could be 6-8 weeks before we get our approval letter. YUCK! I think because Micah came home in five months from start to finish, this may be a little harder wait. I have nothing to complain about because in the grand scheme of things it could be a lot longer as I have witnessed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

I know, the 4th is about over but I had to wait until all activities here were over so I could tell you all about them. In WF they shoot fireworks on the 3rd, so we went to some friends house for a group cook-out and watched the fireworks from their house. We had a lot of fun. Micah didn't make it to bed until 10:30pm which means he slept in until 9:00am...ahhhh!

Then this morning, Micah and his daddy went to a children's parade in WF historic district, which is about two minutes from our house. They rode in the chariot (well Micah rode in the chariot). Then the park close by was having lots of fun stuff for the kids to get into like some carboard houses that the kids could paint (watch video).

They brought home lots of candy, a picture Micah painted for me and pictures they took just for you...and me.

To round out the festivities, L block (our apt. building) had a cook-out. We love our building neighbors. They have been a huge reason for our adjusting so quickly after our move here from TN. Thanks L block!

I hope everyone had a great day with your family and took time to reflect over the freedom we have in the good ole USA!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A day at the Museum

We went to the Natural Science Museum in Raliegh this morning. It is a very nice free place to take the kiddos and actually learn something. Of course it is a museum so it can be a little on the boring side. None the less we enjoyed the morning out.

Our neighbor friend "A" went with us. They both got to pet a pretty big snake

This lady wouldn't give Trevor any of her fruit!!! Can you believe it? (He seems to get that look a lot from people.)

(Micah is pointing at a Tarantula in the above picture saying "Spiders are dangerous!")

On the adoption front.
Not much has happened lately, but here are some not so funny numbers;
9- reference letters
4- done correctly
3- not usable
1- redone once
1- redone twice

2- months waiting for Life Ins letter (got it, done incorrectly)
4- papers redone due to incorrect notaries
2- papers with my name misspelled, go figure

1- little boy coming home priceless!!!

You just have to laugh. These are not things that will or have held us up, just thought I would share.

Monday, July 2, 2007

It's time to eat...

After spending and hour in the kitchen making something new for our family to eat, I call out "Time to eat." To which I hear whining and crying and a bunch of "No, I don't want to eat." and "Go to the bathroom and wash your hands." "NO!" "Do you want to to go straight to bed!" "NO!" All the while I am sitting a the table with everyones plate of food ready and getting cold. Finally my son and husband join me. So, we didn't start off the meal on a good foot, then my husband takes a few bites and says,"It taste good, BUT I have a mental block (which means he can't eat it, because it has cream cheese in it)." At that point I wanted to through my hands in the air and say "I give up!"

Then our neighbor knocks on the door and brings my husband a coupon for a free chicken sandwich from McDonald's, how convenient. To which he says should I go get it now or after we put Micah to bed...UGHHHHH!

Oh the joys!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The poor and needy

Today at church our community and church planting pastor, Brad O'Brien spoke about pride and greed keeping us from serving and loving the poor and needy. This truly convicted me. When do I lend a helping hand to those who have less than I do and if I do, do I boast in my heart that I am a good person? Do I value MY time to much and think I have no time for working in a halfway house or serving food to the homeless or talking with young ladies who are pregnant and need help with what to do.
So, I pose this question from the story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan. Are we like the religious leader or priest who walked right by the man beaten and dying on the side of the road or the samaritan who cleaned his wounds and gave him shelter?
I know which one I am too often and I pray God gives me another chance.