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Bye Bye first blog. We have had a lot of good times togehter..............
The kids got a new tether ball set which was a big hit with everyone. Here are Tyler and Zach duking it out.
Uncle Barry and Zach in an intense game.
We continued our tradition of everyone wearing their pajama's on Christmas day this year. It's really fun to see all the adults and kids dressed in their jammies and robes.
Look, seven stockings all hung by the chimney with care. Only a few more weeks until all seven of our kids are hear in our home. We leave on January 16th!
Tree is up. However, I have one child who I have not bought one present for yet. You know the one, right? So hard to buy for. The only thing he really wants is a computer of his very own which is not going to happen right now. I offered to take him shopping and he could pick out a few things he wanted. Nope. He wasn't interested. The good news is that he is easy to please and will be happy with anything I put under the tree for him. A few ideas would be nice though.
So, all present NOT purchased. Wrapping NOT done. Christmas dinner planned? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...............
I did buy a car seat, and the cutest little girl clothes you have ever seen. Ordered educational supplies for Levi and picked him up some new clothes as well. Booked a room for our stay in Ethiopia and also made plane reservations.
See, I have been busy.
We baked cookies, read our advent story and will go and look at Christmas lights tonight.
Another week to get everything organized would really be nice. Does anyone know how to exactly make that happen?
Below are some family pictures taken at my Mom's 90th birthday party a few weeks back. They make me laugh because my kids were sooooo done talking to people they did not know and smiling for pictures by the time these photos were done. For that very reason I will cherish them forever.
It seems Zach's drivers license was delayed because there was another person with his same name that had several out of state tickets that were not paid. After several days on the phone they finally realized it was not my Zach and they released his license.
It just seems that we were not meant to make the Visa appointment on January 5th. I have no idea why, but I KNOW that God does. We are leaving on Sunday, January 17th on the journey of a lifetime. Exactly one month from today I will lay eyes on my beautiful babes for the first time. We are all so excited!
My friend Missy is in Ethiopia right now picking up her sweet little girl. She took presents for Levi and Amelia and is going to love on them for me. Of course, she will also take some pictures for me. I can't wait to hear all she has to say about them.
Thanks for all the prayers and words of encouragement I have received lately. Our entire family appreciates them more than you could ever know!
ETHIOPIA, HERE WE COME!
My girl is sitting up!!
In the dark moments when the enemy invades my conscience these are the things I ask myself.
Then I feel guilty.
When we first started on this journey, over two years ago, I prayed to our Heavenly Father that he would bring us the children that were meant for OUR family. I asked him to prepare their hearts for us and our hearts for them. I asked that he would allow me to have the same feelings for my adopted children as I feel for my biological children.
You know what?
I look at the pictures of Levi and Amelia and my heart swells with love. I KNOW they are OUR CHILDREN. The ones God has picked out for our family.
The more I learn about them, the more I stare at their pictures, the more I love them. A love that could only come from our Heavenly Father.
At times I complained about how long it was taking for us to complete this journey. Now, as always, I can see God's hand in the timing. Our other children are so ready to welcome Levi and Amelia into our home. I'm not so sure that was true six months ago.
Last night Samantha had her Christmas piano recital. The students had to get up in front of the audience and place an ornament on the Christmas tree and make a wish for someone out loud. She made a wish for her new brother Levi and her little sister Amelia. I didn't know she was going to do that, but it blessed my heart that she did.
The children talk excitedly to their friends and others about their new brother and sister. They carry pictures around to show others, and are genuinely happy we will now be a family of 9.
Don't get me wrong. I am not going into this with stars in my eyes. I know their will be challenges and some adjustments that need to be made once we bring them home. However, isn't that what happens whenever you bring a new baby home? I think what God has taught me is that all change requires adjustment. He has been reassuring me that everything will be fine if I just trust in him.
I like to worry. Something I am working on. My latest worry has worked out to be just one more way God has showed us we are walking in His will for our lives.
My boys play travel baseball through an organization that is run by ex-major league players. It is a great organization and I love it because it is just not some Dad running the team. There is none of the politics that goes on with regular baseball leagues (if your kid plays club sports you know what I am talking about) and we have loved watching our oldest son play for them over the years. Now it is Garrett's turn to start playing for them, however, I was worried. We think Levi is closer to 9 than 7 and if he ends up liking baseball he might want to play for this organization also. Their is no way we could afford to pay for two kids to play. It is a little pricey. For that reason I had been asking Dave to not let him play right now. Lets just see what happens.
Well, last night at the piano recital we saw the head of this organization. It seems his daughter had just started taking piano lessons and this was their first recital.
This gentleman takes Dave aside and tells him that if Levi decides he likes baseball that he can play for their organization for as long as he wants for FREE.
Another one of God's blessings just fell from heaven and landed squarely in our laps.
Not only that, but his wife then tells me that she has all these little girl clothes she would love to give us for Amelia. She tells me that her girls had so many clothes they hardly ever wore something twice and she had been hanging onto the clothes not knowing what to do with them.
God's Blessings. They are abundant.
Yesterday my sister and niece had an adoption shower for our family. We received lots of things for the kids. Levi got a brand new bike from a neighbor as well as a cool Star Wars blanket. People were so kind and we feel so blessed. I can't wait to put Amelia in all her cute new clothes!
I would share some photo's except I cant find my cable to download them to the computer. My life is kind of crazy right now. Paige and Amelia's room is torn apart and all the contents are in the upstairs hall due to the paint and wallpaper that has just been put in there.
Zachary's drivers license still has not come. Don't get me started on trying to deal with the DMV. Ugh. Supposedly we should get it this week. Remember, he has to be fingerprinted before they will give us our updated approval? I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach knowing this could delay our going to pick the kids up in January. Still trying not to freak out, however, the battle may be lost on that front if the license is not in the mailbox tomorrow. Prayers would be greatly appreciated regarding this situation.
I am trying to make a little photo book for my friend Missy to take to Levi in Ethiopia next week. It is really hard to pick out a picture of yourself when you know this will be the first image your child has of his new mommy. Another thing I am stressing myself out over. Pretty ridiculous, right?
I am so happy that Missy will be with the kids over Christmas and able to give them a few small gifts from us. She will also be able to take pictures which will be wonderful.
So, basically I will be packing and planning and stressing for the next six weeks. I am sooo excited!
Can I tell you a secret Internet friends?
Don't tell my kids but I have not bought one Christmas gift for them yet. This is so out of character for me. I usually am done early. The kids asked why there wasn't anything under the tree yet. You know, like for Grandma or ANYONE? I just sort of evaded the question, not wanting to lie and all.
I guess I'll try and get a little shopping done this week. Maybe there are better sales the longer you wait. One can only hope.
Heavenly Father, please watch over our paperwork and make sure all the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted so the judge will see no reason to deny our petition to adopt these beautiful children. Amen.
Come back here tomorrow to lay eyes on the most beautiful children ever!
I have been praying for a picture of our son smiling. He looked so sad in his referral pictures and he especially, for some reason, has been weighing heavily upon my heart. I so wanted to here that he was happy and adjusting well.
My prayers were answered when my adoption friend, Elisa, sent me these words about the children upon her return from Ethiopia with her beautiful daughter on Monday.
Here are your pictures as promised. I have to tell you that Getaneh is absolutely so sweet! The first day I was at HOH, he came straight up to me and played in my hair and stroked my arm. As if he was mesmerized by a fluffy American...lol! Such a sweet kid and very tall! Tigist was in a baby room having tummy time with about 7 other babies. She looked very healthy! She was a little timid of me, but was very comfortable with the nannies!
She sent some wonderful new pictures of the children, and guess what? Yes, our son had a huge smile on his face.
God is so good!
Today is World AIDS Day. Go visit Mary and read her wonderful post.