Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Away

Okay, we finally got ourselves registered for Summit V.  I don’t think you are supposed to wait until the week before.  Looking at my life, apparently that’s the way we roll around here. 

I’m super excited about going to this conference next week.  First, God laid this heavy burden on my heart for the orphan, and then I felt very lost.  Lost and overwhelmed by statistics and just the endless needs.  When I saw what they were going to be talking about in the breakout sessions for this conference, I thought Perfect!  I pray over how to care for orphans, I ask God to show me whatever He wants me to do, but when it really comes down to it, I’m a little slow.  I need it to be laid right out in front of me.  I need to go to the sessions that explain the theology of caring for the orphans.  I need to hear step by step what it would take to make a difference in their lives.  Tony tries really hard to explain things to me.  He speaks slowly for me, but somehow it’s not sticking.  I’ve got a bad case of mom-brain.  My ginormous to-do list spins around in my head and all of the serious stuff gets mixed in and tangled up in thoughts of dentist appointments and trying to figure out when I’m going to squeeze a shower in for the day.

My hope is that Tony and I will be able to get away for this conference and focus.  Focus on God.  Focus on caring for the orphan.  Focus on listening to where God wants us now and where He wants to take us.

Two days.

Two days of being surrounded by others that have a passion for caring for the orphan.  God knew I needed this time to step out of my routine so I can stop and listen.  I’m excited to see what He has in store.

Let me know if you are going to be there.  I would love to meet anyone else that’s going.  I know DeeDee said they will be there.  And, Angel.  Who else is going???

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Counting Down

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go and meet Nell Ann.  I love her!  The kids told me, “Mom, she looks just like you said…she has brown hair and smiles a lot!”  I can’t wait to get our little guys together to play when we get them home.

And, on our way to meet Nell Ann, Tony called me.  He said Christy called him because she couldn’t get in touch with me.  She had a court date for us…June 1st!  Wow!   That’s pretty fast!  It will actually happen the night of May 31st.  Yes.  I’m being that petty about the countdown.

When I told Bear our court date, she said, “hmm… I don’t know when that is”.  So, we’re off to make a paper chain to count down our days to court.  We need a visual around here.  And, things to keep us busy so time will go fast.   And, I guess we’ll work on our months of the year while we’re at it. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting Crafty

One thing I love is crafts.  I planned a whole, though small, room in our house to be my craft room when we built our house 4 years ago.  Everyone has different ways to relax.  For me, I just need to be alone with some paints, pretty papers, glue, ribbons, etc.  I’ve often wished I was one of those people who relaxed by running and exercising, but that doesn’t do it for me.  I exercise because I have to.  Sometimes.  {grin}

Well, that room has a new purpose now.  It’s a perfect room for our little man when he gets here.  It’s downstairs with us, so I can check in on him easily.  I am perfectly pleased with the new purpose for that room.  It’s still a mess and halfway full of craft stuff, but I will work on the nursery transformation to keep my mind off court and travel over the next few months.  I may have to edit (Tony’s word for get it out of the house!) some of my supplies.

Who has time for crafts with 5 kids anyway???

But, since I still only have 4 kids (ha!), I want to share what I made yesterday.  I was just playing around, so I’m sure there are some better products I could have used to make it look more “professional”, but I was happy with how it turned out. 

Africa plate 187

Africa plate 188

{Hopefully, we will hear an update and maybe get some more pictures of our little man this week.  It seems to be taking about a month to hear about court dates, so I am not expecting to hear anything anytime soon about that.} 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Drawn From Water

After reading this and this, I was facinated by a very new orphanage that has started in Ethiopia. New, as in started in mid-February of this year! I'm just amazed everyday at how little I am aware of what is going on in other parts of our world. And, I'm even more amazed at what people are willing to do when hearts are moved. Truly dying to self. The least I can do is spread the word about what they are doing when they ask me to.

This video gives the basic story of how the orphanage began. I love the Scripture that Tracy has on her fundraising t-shirts:

Proverbs 31:8 - "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."

Who is going to speak up for these children?

Drawn from Water from Drawn From Water on Vimeo.

How can that not blow anyone away? You can go to and read "The Story" of how it began, and ways to help. They also have a blog we can follow to find out the latest.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What’s Next?

After receiving the call on Monday, I was so busy with phone calls and emails.  Then, when I had a minute that I could have written a post, I was just mentally tired and couldn’t do it.  I think things have slowed down some so I can breath again.  I’m better now.  Thanks.

I always enjoyed reading other families’ stories about their call, so I’ll share mine for anyone interested.

We found out we were number one on the boys’ list Friday night.  It was kind of nice having a couple of days over the weekend to let that soak in, knowing we wouldn’t get the call until at least Monday.  I was feeling nice and calm all weekend.

Then, Monday morning came.  The phone rang and my heart jumped, even though I knew AGCI was not open yet.  I’m already thinking this is going to drive me crazy if it lasts too long.  For some reason, the phone rang more Monday morning than it ever has.  I started laughing at how hopeful I was with every call.  That’s just nuts!  I played mind games with myself and drove out to the mailbox WITHOUT MY PHONE!  I was trying my hardest to convince my brain to be patient.  It wasn’t working.  I think I talked to God non-stop the entire morning, and then felt bad knowing He wants us to be like that everyday.  Convicted.  I got the message.

I checked my emails and saw Kristi got her girl referral.  Hooray! I was so happy not to get my referral before her.  About an hour or so later,  I saw a family that was behind us on the list get their referral for a boy.  The boy was older than our parameters, so they skipped over us until they found a family he could go to.  It was funny that her name is Mandy also, so everyone was confused thinking it was us since we were number one.  Yes, another area where I have confused people with the Mandy/Amanda name thing.  I know, I should pick one.

At that point, I determined we would not get our call.  I have no knowledge of the inner working of our agency, but I was certain they would go in order of the families on the list and would have called us if there was a boy for our family.  So, I relaxed.  Ahhh… 

Finally, I was able to think about other things.  Then, the phone rang and I didn’t even jump.  I looked at caller id and it was All God’s Children.  I froze.  I was sure it was not the call because I had already decided I knew how they worked.  ha! 

When I answered, the case worker was so sweet and was telling me who she was and asking me how I was doing.  (The case worker we have been working with is actually at Hannah’s Hope right now loving on all the babies).  I’m not sure what I said to her because my mind was just thinking over and over, “don’t get too excited, this may not be it!”  I still couldn’t believe this was the call.  I remember telling her I was trying not to get my hopes up.  She laughed and said I could, because she had a little boy for us!

Of course, Tony was out of town!  So, I sat down and just wrote down everything she told me about him.  I knew she would send all of the information in an email, but I had to do something with my hands as she was talking.  The kids knew this was is, so they were jumping up and down in the other room so I could hear.

I called Tony immediately and he answered his phone saying, “I can’t talk, we’re taxiing down the runway and I’m not supposed to have my phone on yet.” Rebel.  I told him we got the call and call me as soon as he can!  He called when they landed and looked at our baby boy’s picture on his phone. 

And, we were in love.

After that, it was a whirlwind of phone calls and emails.  Both official stuff to start moving on the referral and just sharing with family and friends.   My mind was exhausted!

Okay – I’ve had lots of questions about what happens now.

First, sorry I can’t share any pictures or information about G.  He’s still officially not our child to share, so Ethiopia frowns on posting his information publically.  But, as soon as we pass court, I will post all kinds of pictures!!!

We have a call scheduled with our International Pediatrician this afternoon.  After we talk to her, we can tell AGCI that we are officially accepting the referral.  Then, they will contact Ethiopia and start working on getting us a court date.  We are praying we can get to court and travel before they close for the rainy season (August and September).

I am amazed at how I immediately felt the mamma love for this little boy!  You know, the mother bear love that gets super powers when protecting our children.  I thought it would take some time to open my heart and think of him as my son.  I knew the love would come, I just thought it would be more gradual.  Or, I thought I would feel it when I held him for the first time.  God has made it clear to me that He is the one that gives us this love.  God chose this child for our family and prepared our hearts this whole time.  Amazing!  It’s nothing that we did.

Now, I just want to hold him.  I want to look at his ears and feel his hair.  I appreciate the three flat pictures they gave me, but I’m longing to hold him.  This wait is going to be much harder than the referral wait!  But, God has shown me He has all of this in His hands and has been so gracious to us through this.  I trust that He will sustain me though this wait as well.  Praise the Lord!

Thank you to all of our family and friends who have been so supportive and loving.  God has also blessed us with new friendships and has opened doors to share about His love through this adoption experience.  I feel a little guilty because all of this is for God’s glory, but we get such a blessing from this little boy.  Anything we have to sacrifice to do this seems so small compared to what we are receiving.   But, that’s how God works.  He is full of grace and mercy and love.  His love for us is huge and there is nothing we can do to deserve it or pay it back.  God’s love is so powerful!

So, now we are praying for a smooth and quick court date.  And, that we can travel safely and quickly to go pick G up.  Our family is ready to love on him in big ways!