In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Prayer of a Different Variety

There is a paragraph in Shauna Niequist's book, Cold Tangerines, that just makes me laugh when I look back. It is about the prayers she prayed the days following the birth of her first child. She wrote:

"So I prayed out loud, fervently, like I was at a revival. Dear God, please please please keep our baby healthy and alive through the night. Thank you thank you thank you for him and please please please keep him safe through the night. I wasn't creative in my language, but what I lacked in vocabulary, I made up for in intensity."

I laugh, because that was me when I brought Spencer home from the hospital. Then when Leah came home, my prayer became a little bit more about me. Something like, "Please please please let her sleep, so that I can sleep and feel half way normal again."

This time around, they sound different, but are still pleading prayers. They are certainly more wordy, not only because there are so many more pieces to pray about, but because I'm not sleep deprived and hormonal. My please please please prayer is that he and his nanny have a sweet and tender relationship and that N feels loved. I please please please pray that God is holding him and that, again, N feels loved. I also pray for his last piece of paperwork to be submitted to court so that we can get assigned a court date before the courts close, that we can get him formula, which they are evidently running low at his orphanage, that there are no complications or roadblocks in our process, that he is developing wonderfully, that we will bond, that they take him outside and play with him, that we get to bring him home before Christmas, that he stays healthy and that God is already beginning to sew our hearts together, etc. . . .

In the same chapter of Shauna's book she says (and I feel the same way right now), I also believe in God because I have to, because I need someone to pray to with my rabid, sweeping mix of fear and love. I have to believe in something else, I think, or I'd lose my mind. I think I would blow a fuse in my brain every night if I couldn't entrust (N) to God for safekeeping while I sleep.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Big Giant Garage Sale

We had a gigantic garage sale on Saturday, and in the words of one of my friends, it was a true picture of community! For the past couple months, friends have dropped off items to contribute to our garage sale, transforming our garage into a scene from the show "Hoarders." I'm sure some of our neighbors think we just own a LOT of junk! We had to rent a uhaul to transport the items to the garage sale location, and then we had to make additional trips with our 4Runner. We, also, had friends who baked cookies and sold coffee, water and sodas. And it doesn't stop there. We also had friends who gathered gift certificates and held a raffle for them. There were literally hundreds of people who came to our sale. It is not really a neighborhood garage sale day, it is like a city wide event. I can't wait to attend the garage sales next year! All that to say, we brought in about $2,500. The whole day we rarely made a sale over $10.00, but there were just so many people who purchased something that it all just added up. At the end of the day we only had to make 2 trips to the Goodwill, with mainly clothes. Seriously - Unbelievable!
So, thank you to:
The Sheridans for letting us use your yard
Everyone who donated their stuff to the sale
Everyone who came to the sale
Anthony for helping to load and unload
My parents for helping with everything all weekend
Dave who worked so hard all weekend
The Moores for selling treats
The Holtzmans for organizing the raffle
The Wilshusens for bringing treats
The Manzanares' for dinner that night

It's amazing to think that little N's life has changed already, although he has no idea yet. I can't thank you all enough for already entering in to N's life! We truly feel blessed to have friends like ya'll.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our One Week Referral Anniversary

A week ago today, we saw a picture of our cutie little 2 month old, "N." As you could imagine, the range of emotions has been great. I think I mentioned that the first couple of days, I was on cloud nine with excitement and wonder. Then I saw a picture of his room and noticed that he was in a crib without any slats and his room just looked so stark. That made me panic. How could his brain develop correctly without the latest Baby Einstien toy and without any visual stimulation? I had to get over there! The court closure will, no doubt, will extend our court date past September at this point, so we won't even get to meet the little guy for MONTHS. I called our coordinator to see if we could go visit him before we had a court date. She said that they allow that and would totally support us if we decided to do that, but that it rarely turns out for the better with infants. She said that parents start making requests of the nannies and the nannies get irritated and the last thing I want is for the nannies to have a reason to not love our baby completely. As our conversation evolved I realized that going over there would be for me and not so much for "N." So, after some reflection and prayer, I felt like God was saying, that I simply can't control much of this and that my biggest job right now is to pray for "N." Surprisingly, I have found a lot of peace in that (at least for 2 days now). I have also found a lot of peace in a prayer that a friend prayed that other day (which may sound strange), but she prayed that God would send angels to entertain little "N" in his crib and give him the interaction and stimulation that he needs. God can do that! It's often times kids that see angels, while the adults can't.

A couple other little things have happened lately to remind me that God is STILL in control of this whole business. One is a cute story about a friend just randomly having a very specific toy photo book that I wanted to send with the next traveling family and the other is money. While we still have a long way to go to cover the cost of our two trips to Ethiopia and some fees while we are there, God has continued to provide. A friend said the other day that they would adopt, but they just didn't think that they could come up with the money. I told them that they can watch how God will provide our remaining 10 grand or so. He has been faithful this far and I believe we will make it. That being said, I hope our garage sale will be a huge success this weekend. (It's like I think we'll earn like 5 thousand dollars this weekend or something:)) Even more than just providing the money, though, it is such reassurance that God is so involved. He has chosen this child for us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can You Even Believe It!

I can't believe it! I have a picture in front of me, of a little 1 and a half month old baby boy! He is half way around the world and he is going to be ours!!!!!!

Here is how it all went down. Dave happened to have the day off yesterday, so I went to the gym, got my teeth all polished up, went to Target, left my wallet at Target - you know. . . . the usual errand running sort of morning. When I got home, I checked the updates with our agency and saw that there were a couple of girl referrals, so I asked Dave if the phone rang. He said "yes" and I said, "what if our coordinator called and you didn't answer?" I checked the caller ID and said that she had in fact called (which he totally didn't believe). So, I called her back, and sure enough, there is a little itty bitty baby over there in Ethiopia who is waiting for his parents to come and get him. Dave and I yelled and hugged and the kids cheered (although they might have just thought that dessert was coming or something). All that aside, this is the baby that God has for us! Our coordinator sent his file AND PICTURES over and our whole family gathered around the computer to catch the first glimpse of his tiny little self.

Pure excitement was the first emotion, followed by a little bit of shock over how young he is. We had it in our minds, somehow, that we would be getting a child over the age of one. I have even tagged a lot of the baby baby stuff for the garage sale (on June 18th on the corner of Cascade and Fontenaro), because I was pretty sure about getting an older baby. Even last week, while tagging some of the baby stuff, we joked about how we'd probably end up getting the youngest baby ever now that we were getting rid of stuff. It took me about 3 hours for the shock feeling to go away and for the excitement to re-overtake it all. I'm so excited to, HOPEFULLY, see his first steps, his first words etc. . . and I love how we have a baby picture of him! Followed then by a little bit of desperation. There is certainly a part of me that seriously wants to just fly over there right now and hold him! These will be some long months!

I have heard that he, most likely, will stay in the orphanage until we pass court. I was a little nervous about that, but I have been assured that the orphanage that he is from is very clean and the nannies are very loving. He is in a crib that doesn't have slats, so I'm scared that he is just going to be looking a wood all day and over the next few months. Right now, (and always) he is God's to take care of, so I am just praying my heart out for this little guy. His name means "king" by the way.

The next step, you ask? Wait for a court date. Unfortunately, there is only a tiny chance that we will get a court date before the courts close for a couple months in August and September. It would be nothing short of a miracle if we did get one before that. So, when we get our court date, Dave and I will fly over there and meet our little king and attend court. Then, once we pass court, we will get an Embassy date and be able to bring him home. All of this will take way too many months, I'm sure. I'm really hoping that he will be home by Christmas!

I can't post pictures, but I can show them to you in person. Needless to say, my phone battery was at 8% last night after staring at his picture every two minutes. If you don't get to see a picture, trust me, he is a cutie, all wrapped up in his pink blanket and wearing a white, knit hat. I'm sure it's very chilly over there right now, so I'm glad he has a ski cap on:)