Saturday, April 27, 2013

Headline News: Update on Isabel

After days of compulsively checking my email, we received our update on Isabel.  They only do updates every four months so I'm feeling a little spoiled that we received our referral info last month and an update this month, but the joy of it all has me feeling a bit giddy right now.  The info is so precious to us, but I promise not to be offended if you just scroll down to the pictures:)

The update is actually from February 14...a month before we had seen her little face.  Here's what we know about Isabel (S) at 14 months:  she weighs 9.5 kg or 21 lbs, she is 76 cm/2 ft 6 in tall, her head and chest circumference are both 47 cm, she is walking well and likes to climb, she is potty trained (uh huh doing a little dance! although they prepared us she may regress), she still takes 4 8oz bottles a day, naps every day at 10 for three hours, she now has 4 teeth on bottom and 4 on top. 

As thrilled as I was to learn about all of that, I absolutely ate up all the info they gave me about "her".  Her foster mother says she is a cheerful little girl, and always in a good mood.  She demonstrates a stubborn side too, they are trying to train her to drink from a cup which apparently she doesn't like so she refuses to do it, but if given the straw she insists on she has no trouble at all.  She likes to play with her foster brother and sister, who are older one is 13/14 the other 11/12, which Peyton and Ian are excited about.  They reported that she likes music, and to play peek a boo, and "cell phone"!  I know, what?!  Thinking the older kiddos have something to do with this.  The social worker commented that she loved having her picture taken, so we may have a diva on our hands.

Such a sweetie
The pouty face
I just can't wait to get to know her, and for her to know us.  First approval please please come soon.
Such gorgeous eyes
 Pictures of the first care package we sent.  It had to weigh less than one pound and fit flat in a gallon ziploc bag.  I did manage to squeeze in a head band and ruffly white hat at the last minute.  The sparkly pink album is pictures of our family, hopefully she will start to be familiar with our faces.  We can't send another one till the end of June (sigh, sigh, sigh...)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peyton: Birthday Letter at 12

To my first born, my brilliant, gorgeous 12 year old boy, 

It's actually been a month (March 26) since we celebrated your twelfth birthday.  I'm still having trouble grasping the fact that it has been twelve years since you were born.  There are so many perks to being the first born, and so many, well what shall we call them...experiments.  I mean let's face we were kinda still kids ourselves when we brought you into the world and everything has been tried on you first, from foods to discipline to going to the doctor whenever you sneezed. There is so much you have actually taught us, and considering how amazing you are I guess we could say your handling our parenting experiments pretty well! 

Here is just a little glimpse of what we see of you a 12:

You read, ALL. THE. TIME. In fact, if you get in trouble at school it's because you have a book in your text book and are worlds away.  You love Greek Mythology, anything about Star Wars, and anything with scientific information.  (This is a shared love from Mom:)

You are a living breathing encyclopedia of Star Wars information.  Ask you any question about any ship or creature, or planet and you rattle it off like it's truth.  This makes your Dad and Papa very very proud.

You love to watch, How it's Made, The History Channel, and the extra DVD that tells you how the movie or cartoon was created (your little brother luvs this, and I quote, "Mom make him let me watch the reeeal movie")

You make straight A' never study.  We are in awe of how intelligent you are, a gift from God, surely, because ya didn't get it from either of us!

You like baseball and golf most, and spend a lot of time analyzing your golf shot. 

You collect coins, and have books and folders full of them.

You always have something to say, you always know something about everything...and 99% of the time your right!  You soak up information like a sponge!

(not to embarrass you But..) You still won't go to bed without giving me hugs and kisses, a fact I cherish and hope you never grow out of.

We are both so proud of you and the young man you are turning out to be.  Your future is open bright in front of you and we can't wait to see what you do with it!
Birthday Celebration Bazooka Ball

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Circles and Squares

God has heard our prayers, he has answered.

"If you have can say to this mountain, 'go throw yourself in the sea' and it will be done."

Here is a copied portion of a June 2012 post, where we asked for prayer.  Pray for provision. The largest obstacle has always been the expense. We knew from the get go we could not do this without God or the support of others. (Thank you for all the support you have already given as we came before you, almost begging, with requests of financial support.) God has already blessed us in so many ways, and every time we have needed funds they have been there. Pray our faith will continue to hold as God helps us move this mountain as he supplies all our needs according to his glory.

Around this same time I read a book, The Circle Maker, and because of it I "circled" our financial adoption needs.  I circled them in prayer, I circled them on paper, I circled them while reading The Word.  I circled and circled.  However, when we were invoiced 2 weeks ago for the remaining country fees and finalization my circles squared up.  I suddenly saw straight lines and angles that had to be addressed.  I experienced some doubt.  I took a deep breath and started planning garage sales, and planned on working even more extra shifts, and started considering putting everything and the kitchen sink up for sale. My husband and I both knew WE could make this happen, we were ready to work even harder, to do whatever it took.  We still are. 

BUT, God had not forgotten about my circles.  He did not see the huge mountain in front of our eyes.  (are you ready for the climax yet...I mean I know right...get to the point already!)
We are rejoicing.  In the past two weeks we have received unexpected funds and donations equaling up to ...guess what....yep the monies we needed to pay our program fees and finalization. 

God is so amazing.  I know this already, but can't help to be amazed anyways.  One day we are going to be able to share this story with our little girl.  One day she will see God moved mountains for her! 

I am overwhelmed with His goodness, His grace, His provision, and His love.

Thank you to everyone, for your prayers and support.  God has heard our cry.  He has seen our circles!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Really?! Our Love Day

I'm not sure if I'll be able to put into words how unbelievable it felt, after 18 months of waiting, to get a call saying "I have a referral for you." 

When we started the process the director of the agency made it clear that we could have up to a three year wait.  At the time, we hadn't yet survived the mountain of paperwork involved to actually get on "the list", and it was impossible to know how long three years would feel.  The excitement of making the decision and starting the process kept us busy and gave us necessary work required to get our daughter home. Looking back on those countless late nights filling out forms, running to doctor appointments, more forms, getting fingerprinted, more forms, home study visits, more forms, trips to the post office, more forms, trips to a notary, more forms...I can't believe we have so much of it behind us.  Then came the waiting period.  Once our dossier was sent to Thailand in Jan. of 2012, all we could do was wait.  Although we were busy, having a few fundraisers, applying for grants, and just with our lives it seemed almost surreal that we were going to adopt.  As the months dragged on and on, as I have written about, my emotions would roller coaster and I would get frustrated with wanting things to happen immediately.  Oh the lessons I am learning, lessons on patience, on giving, on generosity, on parenting, on...well let's just say God has been preparing our entire family during this wait.

But now, part of the wait is over.  On March 20, 2013 at 1:32 p.m., while I was playing the piano, my phone rang.   Let me just say here that if phones could be made to ring by sheer will power alone, mine would have rung a thousand times.  During every referral month, even the early ones, I couldn't stand to be away from my phone, "just in case" it would ring.  When  I finally saw the caller ID, I said out loud, "there it is".  I knew it was "our" call.  I started shaking and had to sit down, letting the phone ring a few times as if to make sure I wasn't imagining it.  When I finally did, the assistant of the Thailand program (who has become my email friend!)  simply said, "I'm so excited to tell you, I have a referral for you.   She is healthy, 16 months old, and simply adorable."  My brilliant response back... "Really?!"  She kind of laughed and said, "Really.  Would you like me to send you her file?"  I, of course, had tears streaming down my face despite the smile that was permanently fixed, as I managed to squeal out a very excited "YES!"

I called Rocky immediately informing him he needed to get home asap, in other words "grow wings and fly buddy".  We had agreed to open the file together so we could see her face for the first time together.  Those last 10 minutes of waiting for him to get home, knowing seeing my daughter's face was just a click away, were almost the most agonizing of the last 18 months.  I did manage to call my mother to share the news.

After what seemed like hours he finally arrived.  We hit the button and saw the most darling little girl.  It took a second to connect the we slowly made it through the pictures, without saying a word. I realized we were both crying.  "She's beautiful" I said.  We were both speechless for a minute, I think we both were in awe that God had chosen us to be the parents of THIS child.  A child we had loved and prayed for, a child we so desperately wanted for our own, now didn't seem like a dream anymore.  Her face is now the one we look at, the one we see when we close our eyes and pray.  I now know and understand, what every one said all along, "the right child at the right time".  She is without question the daughter chosen for us and we are her family.  What an amazing gift, a blessing to great to put into words. 

Love Day, Letter to Isabel

My very precious daughter,

In August of 2011 you were born in our hearts as we made the decision to adopt. On November 30, 2011, weighing in at 6lbs 2 oz and 18.5 inches tall, you made your entrance into the world! And quoting from Nancy Tillman, On the Night You Were Born, "Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born." 

Since I can't whisper these words in your ear, just yet, I write this letter to you because it is another very special day.  It is your Love Day.  March 20, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.  we received a phone call.  A phone call telling us about the little girl who had been growing in our hearts for 18 months...You.  How we laughed and cried.  Your Dad and I were simply speechless as we looked at the pictures of your face, the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen.  How my heart rejoiced, but my arms ached.  Ached to hold you close, safe, and loved in my arms. 

You are so special baby girl.  So special.  We can't wait to bring you home to celebrate Love Days, Gotcha Days, Birthdays, and to be with you every day.  Until then I'm blowing you kisses and sending angels to watch over you.  

Loving You Beyond Words,