Monday, November 24, 2008

We're Getting There

Just wanted to give a quick update on where we are in our paperwork for the adoption.

We have the best social worker in the whole world. She rocks! She is ready to complete our entire homestudy after we get one last report for her. Unfortunately, that has been tough. They want a background check from every state/country we lived in since we were 18 years old. This was something that was added after we started the homestudy. (I think we should be grandfathered in to the old rules, personally, but they didn't ask me.)

The tough part was that Tony graduated high school in Panama. Not Florida! That would be easy. So we are trying to get a criminal report from the former Panamanian government. Notice the minor detail - former. Yeah - so we are trying to track down records - not really records, more like non-records since his criminal record is clear - from a non-existent government.

Non-records from a non-existent government.

No problem!

The homestudy agency said that if the records do not exist, they just need a letter stating that. So, we are in the process of finding out if the records exist, how to get the report run if they do exist, or how to get a letter stating they do not exist.

The good news is that once we have that easy, schmeezy report/letter, our homestudy will be complete and ready to send off with our dossier!

I think.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Do You Netflix?

We are doing our part to be green around here. If you Netflix, you can,too.

Go to here to see how to make these cool things with the flap you tear off your Netflix envelope.

Our latest pets - a swan, a crab, and a frog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cruisin' With The Chick

People keep asking me if we still have our chickens. I keep correcting them that it is chicken. Singular. And, yes, we have not killed her. Yet.

But, I think she is protesting being our singular, pet chicken. She still won't lay eggs for us. It is very likely we are doing something wrong, but I'm convinced she is just being stubborn.

I can't see why she wouldn't adore us and want to supply us with all of our huevos. (I've been dealing with the Panamanian government this morning - but that's way off topic.)

Look how spoiled she is -

A day in the life of Fluff and Bear.

I'm Awake

If I shared how much I knew about what was going on in politics, we couldn't even finish a cup of coffee during the conversation. I know that's wrong, and I am trying to change that. I have kept up a little with the abortion issue - probably because that one gets a lot of attention and I don't have to look far to find information.

Baby steps, right?

There was some debate during the election about whether Christians should stick to voting pro-life, or if they should just give up the fight (since it's already over in their eyes) and vote based on other issues.

Tony did an awesome job addressing this on his blog. Just go here to read it.

I'm saddened that Obama is not even in office yet and I am already trying to speak up against something he plans on doing.

That can't be a good sign.

If you want to speak up against the Freedom of Choice Act that he is planning on signing first thing when he gets into office, you can go here. There, you can learn about the FOCA, sign a petition against it, and get on their mailing list to receive updates about what is going on with it.

God has told us to pray for our leaders, but he didn't tell us to sit back and let them do whatever they want. We can pray for them, but still let our voices be heard. Sometimes, the abortion issue seems like a lost cause, but that's how we see it in our own eyes and by our own power. I have faith that God can turn this around, no matter how bleak it looks to us.

Sadly, I haven't spent much time in my life looking to learn what is going on outside my world. I had an attitude that if everything in my world is okay, then it must be okay in everyone else's world. I haven't paid attention to issues (even important ones) until something happens to get my attention.

Well, Obama, you have my attention.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Outta Hand

Last year I remember saying, "I hate Christmas - I just want to get it over with as soon as possible!"

That was the first sign our family needed to do something different.

Funny thing is... I think we were pretty tame comparatively speaking. We talked a little about Santa and a lot about Jesus, limited how many gifts we gave the kids (which always looks crazy when multiplied by four), we got up every Christmas morning and sang and visited with the nursing home residents while they ate breakfast. Not too bad, really.

I think the part of Christmas I don't enjoy has more to do with the atmosphere in general. The stores drive me crazy. They are salivating over our money. And, I can just feel the tension in the air as the shoppers around me are trying to find the perfect gift and stressing about how much money they are spending. They decide to just not think about it until January - but that doesn't really work.

I can't blame it all on others though. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. I have bought into the idea of using this time to show how much we care about our loved ones with a great gift. There was some kind of explanation about Jesus being a gift and we show our love by giving gifts to others. It was something like that - I don't remember. All I remember is that I bought it.

I do agree we need to express how much we care about our loved ones.

Every single day of the year.

We have chosen to put more thought into our gifts. Tony and I are working on some projects with the kids to give this year. I have to admit - it would be a lot easier to go buy something in the store. But, even though it is taking more thought, more time, (and maybe even more money by the time we get all of the supplies), I am less stressed out and am enjoying the the time we are spending working together on this.

The kids are having fun, too. Bonus!

They are excited about using some of our Christmas budget this year to put toward drilling a well for those who don't have access to clean water. I was amazed at this video when it compared how much money we spend at Christmas to how much it would take to offer clean water to everyone.

It reminds me of when Moses threw me off guard in this post. I still don't thank God for my water. Well, I did just now because I was just thinking about it. But, not on a daily (or weekly) basis.

I think I will be watching this video regularly throughout the Christmas season just to keep myself in the right mindset. I hope I don't cave and run to Walmart December 23rd and get into a fight over the last Tickle Me Elmo! (am I dating myself?)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turn, Turn, Turn

There are so many emotions involved in going through the adoption process. Sometimes even conflicting emotions at the same time. Fortunately, I can cling to God and His Word to give me the strength to not only cope during this time, but to soar through and triumph. His Word is so full of wisdom and encouragement!

As I was reading today, I almost skimmed over the first 8 verses in Ecclesiastes 3. I have read through this section many times. I know generally what it says. Incidentally, I cannot read this section without getting this song stuck in my head -

Is it just me?

Fortunately, I thought I should probably skip the Byrd's interpretation and read what God actually said. I'm so glad I did this because He really did point something out to me that will help me get through one of the struggles I am having in this process.

I am finding my emotions swinging back and forth between not having any connection with the child God has planned for our family, and getting frustrated that I don't know anything about this child and wanting to just go get him so I can take care of him.

This verse struck me -

Ecclesiastes 3:5b

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing

I think this is my time to refrain from embracing. I can pray for our child and know that he is in God's hands. He is right where God wants him for now. God will allow me to hold him and take care of him at the perfect time.

My time would be now - but my time is not God's perfect time.

That has been one of the big lessons during this process - learning to give up what I think would be best and to trust that God's way is best.

Wanting this on God's terms will make it so much sweeter when He decides it is my time to embrace.