Monday, March 30, 2009

And Then There Were None

This is it. The final countdown. (Cue 80s music.) There are no more days left. Only hours. During the middle of the night (our time) they will be meeting in Ethiopia to decide whether or not Baby M will be Baby MJM. (If they decide in our favor, I can tell you what those initials stand for! Oh, and we'll get to bring her home. But some people have been so anxious to hear her name, I know they'll be excited for that news alone!) There are three other families (that we know of) from our agency who will be having their cases heard, as well. We're really hoping to hear by the end of the week. Oddly enough, the longer it takes to hear, the more likely it is that you passed. Usually when you don't pass, they know right away. This may be the wait that finally does me in!

The nursery is nearly finished. We're hoping to get the remainder done by the weekend. Essentially we just need to finish off the molding and put the crib together. If all goes as hoped, we can post pictures when we post our GOOD NEWS!

Would you please remember us -- and the other families -- in your prayers? Besides the obvious desire to pass our hearings, we all need peace while we wait. Again!

Did you notice our countdown ticker above? Its been counting down since we were first placed on the waiting list. It has essentially been nine months. Like a pregnancy. Like the longest pregnancy ever. Its time for this baby to come home!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

6 Days until Court!

This time next week our court hearing will have already happened. I simply can't believe we're this close. I don't know what I time would stand still in some sort of limbo forever or something. Its just hard to fathom that next month we'll have our baby!

Speaking of which, rumor has it that should we pass court next week, there is a possibility that we could travel as early as April 12th! It will likely be the 19th...but it just depends when our embassy appointment in Ethiopia is scheduled. (That's how travel is decided. After the courts decide that a certain child is officially your child, an appointment is set with the US Embassy in Ethiopia to get visa/passport approval for that child. These appointments are almost always on a Monday, so families travel over the weekend prior to get there for the appointment that Monday.)

As travelling soon has become more of a reality, we are starting to collect donations for Hannah's Hope, the orphanage caring for our little girl in Ethiopia. Last Thursday I received a surprise call from the Widow's Ministry at our church. I was told they needed a project to take on, and that they would like to collect donations for the orphanage. So cool! I may be biased, but I personally believe we have the neatest group of widows in the WHOLE WORLD. Really. I love them. But for all you non-widows out there who have asked about donations, here is a list of what the orphanage needs (both for the children and for the workers):

Items needed the most are:
- diapers (all sizes)
- wipes
- 4 oz avent bottles
- lids and nipples
- bouncy seats

Other items needed:
- bibs
- hand sanitizer
- kleenex boxes
- infant & children's vitamins
- formula
- diaper rash cream
- baby shampoos & baby oil
- blow up balls/outside toys
- sidewalk chalk
- bubbles
- children's dvds & cds
- men & women's deodorant
- good quality electric shaver

-scrubs (for the special mothers who take care of the children)
-baby clothing
-infant - 8 mos
-light jackets or sweaters for all ages
-boys clothing for ages 6-10 yrs old
-girls clothing for ages 6-13 yrs old
-underwear for all ages
-shoes for all ages - crocs are great

Used items are fine as long as they are in very good shape. If you attend our church, I believe there will be tubs set out to collect donations. Or you can just pass them on to us at any time.

So many of you have done so much already -- we really appreciate it! I'm not asking you to do more...unless you really want to! Today I used some money from our garage sale to shop for bulk toothbrushes, deodorant, and soap at Costco. I can't wait to take it with us when we travel...soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What I Learned Today

Its not very often that I listen to a popular contemporary speaker and think that what they are saying speaks to me. I guess I'm somewhat of a skeptic, or maybe I just think that my life is too complicated for anyone to really relate. Anyway, the women's Bible study at our church has been working through Beth Moore's study on the book of Esther. It has been fantastic. And a bit ironic. On more than one occasion she has made a point that really, truly was both applicable and appropriate for the portion of the path I'm walking with God these days. (By appropriate, I mean that it actually honors God as the God I know Him to be, instead of molding Him into something that fits into my life. Does that make sense?)

The first time was when she spoke of our tendency to freak out when God calls us to tackle something truly difficult, because usually we don't think He has very good timing. In other words, we say to God, "How can I possibly do THAT?! Don't you see what my life is like right now?!" That has pretty much been the underlying feeling in my heart regarding our adoption since we received our son's autism diagnosis. Being moved to adopt was a big enough stretch for me, but then we were thrown that curve ball. We struggled with whether or not to continue and did eventually put things on hold for a short while. However, we knew we'd be back on board -- and that really scared me. These days, while I wait and wait -- ironically encouraging myself with the knowledge that we WILL eventually hold our little girl -- I keep going back to that thought..."How can you possibly ask me to take all this on, Lord?"
Our session last week was about trusting God enough to know that if and when the things we fear most happen, God will be God. He will not let us be destroyed and will, in fact, redeem us to glory with Him no matter what.

Today, the topic was timing...and waiting. The idea of God's timing being the perfect timing, etc is, of course, not a new one to me -- especially at "such a time as this", so to speak. (A little Esther quote there!) What really threw me was what Beth said when she closed the session. She read the well-known verse: "...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31) She pointed out the difference between waiting for something (an occasion, a promotion, a baby, etc.) and waiting for the Lord. When is one's strength renewed? When one waits for the Lord -- for His timing, for His purposes, for His plan fulfilled in His will.
When I think about it now, it seems pretty obvious, like something I've known all along. But I sure appreciated the reminder today.


Speaking of waiting, my darling hubby has left on a business trip and we three are left behind waiting for his return. (I have an alarm -- with a key fob! -- and I know how to use it!) Hubby is an author and illustrator -- among other things! -- and is speaking with his brother and fellow author at the Christian Book Expo in Dallas. I definitely don't give him enough props for all the hard work he does, so here's a link to their blog.

In his absence, he left the boys with a pictorial chart so they can determine just when he will be home. Our days are now, courtesy of my three year-old, known as "Armadillo", "Lizard", etc. As in, "Are we going to Grandma's on 'Lizard' or 'Cactus'?" The photo doesn't do it justice.

You will note that I am now able to upload photos again. This isn't because we found our cord. Seems we'll have to order a new one directly from Kodak. No, we had to shell out money for a card reader so we could empty our memory cards onto our computer and thereby, in the meantime, be able to use our camera again. (We also have to remove the camera battery to charge it on a battery charger. Blah! So much work!) Nursery photos will be forthcoming, I promise. We just have a few more things to do in there before the big "reveal". In the meantime, enjoy a few "before" photos -- one which we took for our dossier (in which we shoved all the junk out of the line of sight for the photo and angled it so the room looked clean and nice -- shh! don't tell!) and the other of aforementioned Hubby applying the primer over the ugly brown with which the prior owners had covered the walls AND ceiling. Some browns are nice...others are not. Oh, and I threw in a picture of me looking oh-so-cute in my grubbies putting together furniture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time Flies -- But I Don't

Today, I delivered my in-laws to the airport. Leaving them at the departure curb, I wished it were time for hubby and I to fly to Ethiopia. Fly? Did I really think that? I can't wait to fly? Either I am: a) growing up, b) in denial, or c) really motivated. If you've seen her picture, you understand. I can't tell you how cool it is, when people ask how soon we get to bring M home, to reply, "Oh, hopefully next month." Next month! 19 days until our court hearing....

We've been keeping ourselves busy. Sunday, my mom and I had the kind of shopping spree one can only have when one is shopping for a little girl. I mean, baby boy clothes are cute...but have you seen baby girl clothes? Oh. My. Goodness. I would share photos, but our camera-to-computer cord vanished in our garage sale. Along with our camera case. Hmm. Hopefully we'll figure something out soon because...

We're finally making progress on the nursery! The bedding arrived and we'll be painting this weekend. Then we can assemble the furniture. After that all we'll need is a little girl baby. (I'm still waiting on other certain mommies -- ahem, Dawn -- to show and tell! Hint hint!)

Next Tuesday we visit the Travel Clinic -- duh, duh, duhduh -- where we will get to shell out big bucks for the privilege of being poked with at least two big needles on syringes filled with wimpy versions of nasty illnesses. That sounds almost as fun as flying.

The things we do for our children!

Friday, March 6, 2009


You know you're losing it when you open the refrigerator and discover a half-eaten bowl of cereal -- complete with spoon -- inside.

And then you realize that it is yours.

And you're just now noticing it over nine hours later when you're making dinner.

Yeah. I'm losing it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Four Months Old

And I missed it.

March will be the longest month ever.