Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Swimming Lessons; Life Lessons

My 5 kids and I are all doing swimming lessons this week and next. I've had the older 4 doing lessons several summers so have come up with the idea of taking all the towels and dry clothes and other necessities in a laundry basket and handing them to the appropriate person at lesson's end. This year is more complicated (and more fun) because Caleb and I are in a Mommy and Me class at the same time. As you probably know, this is a program designed to acclimate little kiddos to the water in a positive way. We sing 'Motor Boat, Motor Boat' and 'Ring Around the Rosie' and 'The Wheels On the Bus' etc. with different actions and activities. It's a kick. The downside is I can't watch my other kiddos and cheer them on AND the basket is less well-organized. I'm also letting the older kids be more in charge of bringing the appropriate clothes to change into--so far we have had to deal with missing underwear and forgotten pants. Thank God --I mean it--the day my daughter forgot her pants I had accidently brought two pair!! It touches me how God can even guide our mistakes.

Which brings me to this: My family had been invited to a surprise birthday party for my good friend, Kathryn to be held last night at 6:30 p.m. Since the invitation had been given by e-mail and the title was "SHHH, It's a Surprise" or something like that, I didn't want to reply and give away the secret if she would happen to see the message. So last night I loaded everyone in the car and we headed off toward Twin Falls with time to spare to grab a birthday card on the way. Well, about halfway there I got a call from my husband asking if we could come pick him up from work over in Jerome. In my head I was mentally doing the math, figuring we could run over there, bring Kevin back over to his car in Twin Falls and still make it to the party. So we got to Jerome only to find that Kevin was still not quite ready to go. We waited and waited. Some of the kids fussed about being late. I was trying to be calm. Finally my husband got in the car, only to inform me that he actually needed to go back to our town for a church board meeting. Then I felt like fussing!! I was thinking he was being inconsiderate and like I was letting my friend and her family down. Well, at 7:15 I left my friend an apologetic message on her phone saying it was just too late to come. My daughter was crying. I felt horrible. (We ended up going to the store and buying our own cake mix and frosting since we were in the mood for a birthday celebration)

Today my friend called on the phone and I apologized again for missing her party. And then I heard 'the rest of the story.' It was her daughter, about 11 years old, who had sent out the invitation, apparently not realizing that Kathryn had already been invited elsewhere for her birthday. So, had we gone on with our original plans, no one would have even been home.

When am I going to learn not to stress when things don't go as planned? God is so in control.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Surprises and musings

I got two special surprises this week related to our adoption. One was a donation to our family's adoption on our link at Reece's Rainbow. Whoever gave it, please know it just blessed my heart so much.

And one was a sweet award from my friend, Kris, for my blog!! I'll have to re-read the rules a few times to figure out exactly how to get it. (I am one of the most computer-unsavvy people I know.) Kris, that is just too sweet. For those who don't know Kris, she is the one who met R. in his home country and has been advocating for him since then. A truly inspirational woman, she has two newly-adopted daughters, one from Ukraine and one from Estonia, both with Down syndrome and was working on both of these adoptions at the same time. She has been such an encouragement to me throughout our adoption processes as we have had so many things in common. Thank you, Kris.

It's weird how my heart just aches for R. I wonder if he's safe, if he's eating, if he has someone to hold him and care for him. I don't remember feeling exactly this way with Caleb. I think the difference is that R. has already been transferred to an institution and I don't know anything about it, don't know anyone who has adopted from there, don't know if it is a 'good' place or a not-so-good place. I have heard of both in his country. I don't know if it is a place that will welcome adoption or a place that will refuse to allow adoption. I don't know if the process will be made more difficult because it is a place where our facilitator is relatively unknown.

I am so glad for a Mighty God who transcends space--Who at the same time can be here with me and there with my son. I am so glad that even now, before I have ever met R., Jesus is already there beside him. I can already pray as his mother that God will hold him in His strong arms close to His loving heart, that God will speak peace and hope and security to his little mind. He is a little boy who has shown clearly his desire for a mommy and a daddy and I pray that dream will not die.

The Bible speaks of God as Abba Father. It is my understanding that 'abba' is a child's word for his father, the equivalent to our English 'Daddy'. So Abba Father, my Daddy, I am trusting you to also be a Daddy to R., to look out for him, to provide for his needs, to defend him, to love him. Thank you that You are faithful to keep all your promises to me and to my son.

I am thinking of a precious, simple children's song that Caleb signs so sweetly: Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong-they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Adoption Front

We have a couple more pieces of paperwork back--Kevin's verification of employment letter from UPS Freight and my physical. Unfortunately both have minor glitches so they'll have to be re-done. Lately Kevin has been getting Mondays off so he scheduled his physical exam and child abuse clearance fingerprints for today--but SURPRISE --he gets to work today. (Of course, the home study cannot be completed without those 2 little items, and the I-171 can't come without the home study.) I have been praying that he'd get more hours at work so I really can't complain but I was so looking forward to having these final two home study requirements complete.

For anyone who is not familiar with international adoption there are three sets of requirements that you work on somewhat simutaneously: (1) paperwork, documents, references, fingerprints for home study, (2) paperwork, fingerprints, documents for the US immigration folks, and (3) paperwork, documents, fingerprints, procedures that relate specifically to the country you're adopting from and result in a dossier--a "paper baby"-- that is mailed with excitement and trepidation to that country for approval. Since we're just up-dating our home study, the pile of paperwork is considerably thinner than if we were starting from scratch. And because we just completed an adoption from the same country that Little R resides in, I have photocopies of the needed paperwork. But everything still takes time.