Sunday, December 30, 2007

sierra leone 07

Here is the montage with pictures from our trip to Sierra Leone to meet the kids.
This song was part of my prayer before, during, and after. I was so scared about having to leave them...so scared about the uncertainty of the future. But I so wanted to breathe in the whole experience...to etch it on my heart forever.

We didn't want to miss the miracle right in front of us...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

heartbeat

I totally stole this idea from another blog.

But I had to make it my own.

So I made a video for all my blogger/mommy friends.

ALL of you have impacted my life this year in some way. All of your photos were used WITHOUT permission. :-) They were mostly lifted off of your blogs...which have been a daily challenge and encouragement to me as we make our way through the trenches of motherhood. Obviously, I have new found respect and many new friends who are adoptive mothers. The first few seconds of the video chronicle the birth of a mother...whether it be in the delivery room or with a referral phone call. At that moment, the world starts to change. A mother holding profound power and influence in her hands. And you all do it with so much grace and strength and endurance. I am so grateful our paths have crossed through the wonders of the internet and otherwise. You give me strength on days when I don't think I can pick up one more lego, fill out one more form, make one more sandwich or deal with one more toddler melt-down. You likely have no idea how each of you has influenced me...how grateful I am for you...

(I lifted as many pics as I could--filling in with my family as needed. Some of your blogs would not let me...so many of you are not seen here, but still ever present in your impact.)

One heartbeat at a time, girls. You are changing the world...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

mail.

You would of thought it was the real Santa Claus at our house the way I squeeled when the FedEx man rang the doorbell.   Court decree in my hand, I600 goes to the Department of Homeland Security Immigration office on Monday.

I know we are talking a matter of days here.  But not until you have a child on the other side of the world do you realize how long one day really is.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the missing link.

“The medical community put forth a valiant effort to end AIDS but has yet to eradicate the virus. So why do I even have it {the end of HIV} as a goal? Because I believe that when the missing link–the church of Jesus Christ–rises from its slumber, awakens to the magnitude of the problem, acknowledges its sinful absence or puny efforts (at least in the West), repents of neglecting those God is passionate about, and rallies it’s best attention, effort, and compassion, HIV/AIDS can be a disease that used to plague our world.” (Kay Warren)

I’m afraid the Church is the missing link in a number of causes–not the least of which is the fight against HIV. The plight of the poor, the orphan, the widow, the diseased, the handicap–our neglect, my neglect, of them is nothing short of sin.

I overheard some people chatting about how it’s the ‘trendy’ thing now for churches and Christians to be all compassionate and care for ‘the least of these.’ They said we have swung way to an extreme in reaction to our absence in the past. It was one of those times where I almost jumped out of my skin. Is it possible to be too compassionate? Is it possible to be extreme in our love and effort on behalf of the forgotten? I don’t have to be a Bible scholar to figure out how important it was to God. And if it is ‘trendy’–so be it. And thank God that he opened our eyes. Why must we always have excuses? When Christians make arguments like this it simply justifies our distance. It makes it acceptable to keep our distance from pain and suffering. It makes it acceptable to guard our ‘comfort’ and ’safety.’ All in the name of not swinging too far with a trend.

Swung too far in love and compassion?

I don’t think it’s possible.

it's here.

paperwork in in the US. it is on it's way to me in Iowa from my agency in Colorado. I will file the 1600 before Christmas.
Things are moving again...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

good.

It’s official. My computer’s harddrive is crashing. Which is not good. But since we are only focusing on happy things today–it’s still under warranty. Meaning a little inconveniece and some seperation anxiety (me and my computer are tiny bit co-dependant), but in the end it will be fixed and it won’t cost me anything.


And we are closing on our house on Friday! That is huge! We will be paying for it for years, but happy things–it sold! In the middle of winter! And we can finally hang curtains at our new house. (i refused to do that until the old house sold). Yeah! Many thanks to the realtor and family that kept us afloat this past year.


In all seriousness, I have had a stranger and an old friend come into my life in the last couple days to provide tremendous support and strength in the adoption. I am always amazed at the people God allows to cross my path and the blessing that they provide. Honestly, we have moments of saddness and frustration when people we expected to join us in this journey have chosen not to. It has been a lesson in grace and constant checking of our hearts to ensure we are desiring only the approval of God. But more than that, we have been so surprised at the complete strangers and the distant and old friends who have risen and provided doses of bravery and strong, unashamed support. We are simply humbled and so grateful. It has carried us through days when we are extremely weary and questioning everything. And we have watched God provide in the most unlikely of ways. And we thank you. I hope you all know who you are

Friday, December 14, 2007

update

We are at a complete standstill. Our paperwork is somewhere in the mail between Sierra Leone and here from what I understand. Once it arrives, I can send in our Immigration Visa forms and things can get rolling. But without it, nothing is happening. Ugh. I have been pretty tense and somber. I at least want things moving...moving in the direction of bringing Zeke and Kora home. I think about them constantly. Trying to remember what they felt like in my arms.

I've said it before--we have to constantly remind ourselves that the process is much the aim. During standstills, God is still moving. And I can still feel God's gentle and sometimes firm hand refining my heart so I can be ready. Ready in the best way to be mother to these broken children. My heart aches for the loss they have already endured. Sometimes I think it is too painful to imagine what they still will have to go through...it would just be easier to look the other way. To turn the channel. But I can't. We made that decision last year when we began this journey. We were done looking away. From now on, we are facing suffering head on with our eyes wide open. And we discovered that when we feel our hearts ache it is "pain that originated in the heart of God, not in mine."

Warren goes on to say this about the all too familiar feeling, "I was inadvertently cheating myself out of the consolation and comfort available to me through sharing in the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus."

Ours is really the tiniest, tiniest glimpse. Yet I am learning that I am not alone. It's His heart that is breaking...it comes from Him and is made endurable and redeemable through Him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

She Smiles.

It's nothing spectacular.  But you can see her smile and it is some of the little video we have.  And it makes me happy.  So here is Kora...

watch here

Friday, December 7, 2007

memories.


Kora is throwing a little fit...refusing to look at the camera. Zeke is just going with whatever...
This is Mary.  She is married to the Pastor and together they run the orphanage, school and growing church.   I loved her.  She is one of those people who I genuinely felt like would be a dear friend if we lived close.
And another one of our twins...as opposite as can be.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

practicing...

I missed Zeke and Kora a lot this week-end. I think we were flying on a high for several days after getting the chance to meet them, and hug them, and fall in love with Sierra Leone. But the reality that they are not here and won't be for a while is starting to sink in. And I just miss them.

But Quincy is getting ready for them. We overheard him several times in the last couple days when he is playing by himself. He talks to them and says things like, "OK, Zeke you hold this. Kora you stand here and I will be right back." ect. ect.

I have a feeling he will have days in the future when he misses the 'pretend' Zeke and Kora--who listened to everything he said and didn't touch his cars. But he is practicing nonetheless. Practicing to be a big brother...