Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another Delay

I don't remember if I blogged about this before, but when our dossier was first sent to Nadia's country, it sat there for 3 weeks waiting for the State Department of Adoptions to "re-open" so it could be submitted. That was very disappointing, especially since we put our paperwork together at break-neck speed. However, we quickly re-grouped and looked on the "bright side" of having a few extra weeks to get ready for such a momentous trip and subsequent life-changing event in our lives.

Fast forward to this morning as I awoke in a state of excited anticipation knowing that we'd be hearing this week as to when our SDA appointment would take place--which would then determine our travel schedule, etc. I even noticed that another family who was submitted the same date we were had received their appointment date--Yippee!! Congratulations to them and to the little girl they're bringing home!!

Imagine my surprise and crushing disappointment when I found out that the SDA is requiring another document to add to our dossier in order to give us our appointment date. After bursting into tears and seriously considering crawling under my bed for the rest of the day (with Starbucks of course), I remembered what else I woke up with this morning...

A song that I woke up humming and continued to hum, up until I received this news. A song that reminded me, once again (Yes, I'm a slooooooooow learner), that this adoption is so "out of my hands". And even though "I don't understand" why these delays keep happenning when there's a child who so desperately needs to be in our home instead of languishing in a crib all day without love and a family; I'm once again needing to rest in the arms of the One who does know and be willing to trust "where He's taking me" in this adoption journey.

Are there still tears and disappointment today? Oh yes, they're flowing freely and our homeschool day was "blurred" at best. But God can handle that and He's the first one to offer His comfort...and His all amazing Peace. And to show you (and me) how generous and specific God is to His children, especially when they're hurting, He had a friend show up at my door (who had no idea this was going on) with none other than that dreamed-of Starbucks! :)

So, I'll leave you with the words of this song by Matthew West that I woke up humming this morning. Perhaps I'm not the only one who needs to be humming this today. (I would have loved to put a link where you could click and listen to the song but I'm Miss Non-Techno Gal!)

There you go changing my plans again
There you go shifting my sands again
For reasons I don't understand again
Lately I don't have a clue

Just when I start liking what I see
There you go changing my scenery
I never know where you're taking me
but I'm trying just to follow you

It's out of my hands
It's out of my reach
It's over my head
And it's out of my league
There's too many things
That I don't understand
So it's into your will
And it's out of my hands

There you go healing these scars again
Showing me right where you are again
I'm helpless, and that's where I start again
I'm giving it ALL UP TO YOU!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Act Your Age!!!

How many times have you heard that in your lifetime? I know I've said it a few times to my children (probably once or twice this week even), but really, when you think about it, is it really a good thing to "act your age"?

What if Moses had "acted his age"? Most 80yr. olds aren't leading thousands of people, ON FOOT, out of captivity across the desert and wilderness for 40yrs.

What if Abraham and Sarah had "acted their age"? Most 100yr. olds aren't giving birth to a son that will be the bloodline for an entire nation.

What if George Muller had "acted his age"? Most 90yr. olds aren't running orphanages and praying daily (instead of out fundraising) for provisions to keep the children fed and clothed.

What if Mother Teresa had "acted her age"? Most 90yr. olds aren't ministering to the poor out on hot dusty streets.

What if Jim and I (and many, MANY others that I've met on this adoption journey) had decided to "act our age"? Most 46 and 54yr. olds aren't looking to add to their families. Heck, our youngest (before Nadia) just turned 10 last week. We were looking at 8 short years until being empty nesters or at least something that might resemble retirement. According to the world, Jim is just a few short years from that illustrious goal where he could turn in his briefcase for a suitcase and we could travel the world! ha ha!

Well, apparently God didn't get the memo on telling people to "act their age" because He has a habit of calling people to His work no matter what their age (he uses really young people too but that's another post). And it wasn't as if I didn't remind God of how old we were "in case" He forgot. :)

Do I get "concerned" about being too tired to parent a 2yr.old? Sure I do.

Do I get "concerned" about possibly homeschooling until I'm 62? Sure I do.

Does Jim get "concerned" that retirement may be a goal he'll never reach? Sure he does.

BUT, we've decided we want to be a lot MORE concerned with being obedient to our Heavenly Father and saying "yes" to what He's asked us to do.

Does this make us "super spiritual"? Heck No!!! It makes us realize how completely dependent we are on God for everything from financing this adoption to giving us the energy to run around after our little "babushka" once we get her home!

So, other than for purposes of getting our driver's license, voting, and filling out surveys, I say we forget about acting our age and let God decide what we should be doing in EVERY stage of our lives. You might just get the chance to go on an outrageous adventure the WORLD said you should never go on--WE ARE!!!

Here is the birthday boy who always want to be older than his age...but thankfully very rarely acts it!!! Watch out world--this one is going to create his own adventures wherever he goes!

Sweet, funny, Josi, who on the day after her 12th birthday, announced that soon she'll be 13! I don't care how old she gets, she'll always make us smile with her "Josi-isms".

And our eldest, who has been a teenager for almost a year now, will still join in a good balloon sword fight with his little cousins. I think "not acting your age" is the new cool!

And here are the "old fogies" pretending like we're still in college, cheering on the world-renowned Nittany Lions. This is DEFINITELY something I'll be doing until they can no longer wheel me up the ramps to our seats!!! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One More Big Step Toward Nadia!

I got an e-mail from our facilitator today that read:

"Your dossier has been successfully submitted to the SDA today. We should know your travel date in 2 weeks."

Can I hear a big Woo Hoo!!!????

This came hot on the heels of hearing conflicting reports about whether Russian adoptions to America had truly been closed. We're not adopting from Russia but our country will most likely follow suit to whatever Russia does. So, we're feeling a great sense of relief that we're officially "in the system" in country now!!!

So, please continue praying that the timing continues as stated and that we will truly hear about a travel date in 2 weeks. That doesn't mean we'll travel in 2 weeks but it could mean that we'll be travelling within a month's time!

Thank you Lord for this very Big Step toward our baby girl!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning at the Lake

We have been blessed by Jim's parents with a wonderful get-away lake retreat. It's only about 1hr. and 15min. from our house so it's the perfect weekend respite where we can regroup as a family and enjoy many outdoor activities like fishing, boating, tubing, knee-boarding and much more. We were really spoiled when Jim's parents were still the owners because we'd just show up and be able to jump right into the fun stuff. However, now that we've taken over, we, and our children, have learned that there's a whole lot of work that needs to be done before we get to play. Great lesson to learn. Some of us learn it faster than others, however. :)

Jim usually begins his work day by trying to get the mower started. Never an easy task. This year, he brought the parts to fix the steering mechanism and even got the mower started on the first try! It only stayed "started" for about 5 min. Guess we'll be needing more parts.

With minimal complaining this year, the boys got to work on gathering sticks from the yard and the dock because they know the faster they get their work done, the closer we are to taking a boat ride.

There had just been a pretty decent storm the week before so there were a LOT of sticks to drag to the burn pile.

Then of course, Daddy started sweeping out the boat house and dock and provided even more sticks for the boys to drag. If that's not enough, there are also sticks brought up out of of the water inside the boat house as well.

And where is sweet Josi during all of this? Waiting on the boat watching her brothers do the grunt work. Like I said, it takes some of us longer than others to get the "work comes first" concept. (Let me say that Josi did "help" me inside of the house making beds and cleaning bathrooms, however, we still wanted her to do some of the outside work as well).

This was Miss Josi's reaction when I told her she had to get out of the boat and help or we weren't going to be able to go on a boat ride. (Priceless)

So, she stomped her way over to the stick pile, bent over to pick up a bunch of sticks...

And threw them ever so fitfully into the air....No, they did not make it into the back of the golf cart which I think is just the way she intended it! (Gotta admire her stubborn streak...I mean spunk!) She eventually cleaned up all of her assigned sticks and so it was finally time!

A.J. is just as excited as the rest of us for the first boat ride of the season!

Time to load up and go for a cruise. Too cold to tube just yet. :(

Got the captain at the helm. Mom's in the back taking pictures. We're ready to roll!

Someone's a lot happier now that the work is done! Me too, Josi...me too!

Yep, nothing like hard work to make you truly appreciate kicking back and relaxing.

And there's nothing like ending the day with your family "almost" all together, a dog by your side, and the wind in your hair. We are truly blessed!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day!

Here is how the pound cake with icing "grilled cheese" sandwich gag turned out. I ended up having to make it for dinner because the kids were hovering around the kitchen at lunch time making it impossible to tint the icing and slice the pound cake without being noticed.

I'll let the pictures of their individual reactions do the talking. It was a yummy surprise! :)

Hope you and your family had a fun day celebrating this 1st day of April! Welcome Spring!