Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Current Obsession

I love this new Christmas song, I hope they still play it after Christmas. I think you'll love it too*, so here's my gift to you, Merry Christmas.



*This video has images of Jesus being crucified and is not appropriate for children.

I believe

We had two visits from real life Santas this week. It was such a neat opportunity to talk to Kylynn about Santa Claus, why he does what he does (he loves Jesus) and how exciting it's going to be on Christmas Eve to have Santa come to our house and leave behind a gift and fly away into the night.

Saturday night there was a knock on the door and there were the N's. Mrs. N is such an amazing lady, she loves babies- a lot! And just like Santa she wants to make sure that everybody who has a baby in our church (and it is a lot!! of people, it's a big church) gets a present. So she makes them a blanket and bib, and sometimes more and then delivers it to them at the hospital or at home. These gifts are precious and say on each one, "Jesus loves...." Like Santa she's a bit magical, both her personality and how she always knows when someone's had a baby. It was such a blessing to us that Jack will have a blanket just like Kylynn's made by Mrs. N.

Monday night we were eating dinner and again there was a knock at the door. Kyle got there pretty quickly, but of course had to try and get our dog to get back from the door, when he opened it there was a giant Christmas bag with a card and no person or car. He walked in with it and said that nobody was there, the little girl inside of me jumped up and down!! It was just like seeing my presents Christmas morning that magically appeared there. We opened the card and it was a gift from a friend of Kyle's and his wife. Inside the bag was a giant stuffed pony! Oh my, Kylynn and Jack had a blast last night "riding" him and hugging him.

It was a huge blessing to me and reminded me the joy in believing in magic this Christmas season. I had been praying over some of our traditions with Christmas and making sure that what we did with our children was honoring the Lord. Then in the next couple of days I heard a talk by Dr. Dobson, and had two visits from modern day Santa's, reminding me that keeping Christmas as full of magic and wonder for as long as possible for my children is a good thing. And maybe if I'm lucky someday I'll be able to be swept up by their excitement and remember what it was like to believe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Story

I was babysitting a friend's daughter on Wednesday the 3rd. I was in a bad mood, even though I truly believed God had told me to pray for Jack to come home by Christmas, the calendar had read December for 3 days so far and they played Christmas songs constantly on the radio and my baby was not home! I started to doubt the Lord and became angry every time I saw Christmas decorations...which was very hard for me because typically this is my favorite time of year.

We had been playing outside and I went inside to make sure my friends hadn't called saying they were here to pick up their daughter and I wasn't answering the front door. Sure enough there was a message. So I played the message expecting it to be my friends and instead it was my social worker saying she had good news for me and to call her back. I became frantic, yelling at Kylynn to be quiet so I could hear the number and completely freaking out! I called her back and as she was telling me the good news our power went out..which made my phone stop working. Luckily she immediately called my cell and gave me the details. Kyle came home early from work and we spent the rest of that day trying to book airfare and hotel, arrange someone to watch Kylynn, and make a huge list of all we needed to get done.

Three days later, on Saturday, we flew to Korea. The travel went great we had absolutely no problems, we flew Asiana Air to Korea and I felt like I was in first class, I have never experienced anything like that...and I've flown internationally before. I cannot sleep on planes, so we stayed awake for 24 hours (mostly) and easily adjusted to Korean time, just went to sleep when we got there at 9pm and woke up the next morning.

That morning we woke up was Monday morning and we had a 9:30 appointment to meet Jack. Miraculously I was calm and not about to throw up (which I really do when I'm extremely nervous). The foster mom walked in and our social worker said here's your baby! And I looked at Kyle like, do you see him? I know he's supposed to be small and all but there is no baby here. Then she took off her coat and underneath was a baby tied to her back. We both got to hold him, but Jack was not having any of that he cried instantly and after a few minutes the foster mother would take him back. We enjoyed meeting him but were a little concerned about how scared he seemed of us. We got to spend 20 minutes talking to the foster mother (our social worker interpreted for us) asking her questions about his preferences and their family. I will write more on the topic of his foster mother soon, but let me tell you she desperately loved him and raised him as her own precious son, I could not believe how God blessed us again. We said goodbye to Jack and his foster mom and were told to pick him up Wednesday at 4pm, 24 hours before we were scheduled to fly out, due to his stranger anxiety, they thought the longer he got to spend with us the better (usually you pick up your baby 3 hours before your flight).

Amazingly we were both fine saying goodbye to Jack, it was obvious to us that he was very loved and happy. We spent the next 2 1/2 days exploring Seoul. I cannot remember if I was smart enough to pray that the Lord would make us fall in love with Jack's country, but thankfully somebody did. We loved Korea, the people were amazing, very helpful and respectful. They bow, and I loved that so much, I want to start that in the US, we could learn so much for them on how to treat our neighbor the way you'd like to be treated. The city is huge! with so many people everywhere I couldn't believe it. When you use the subway during rush hour they come off in a large mass and rush towards you, they walk everywhere and are always in a hurry. And I couldn't stop looking at them, they were the most beautiful people I've ever seen and everyday, everybody (I'm serious!) was dressed to the nines, amazing fashion! We loved the food and there was always somebody who could speak enough English to help us order our meat cooked! It was a little pre-baby vacation for Kyle and I and we shopped and sight saw all the time we had so much so that our bodies ached and we slept like logs at night.

Wednesday we went to the agency to pick up Jack. The second I walked in the door I was crying, I could not imagine the pain his foster mother was going through. They gave us lots of stuff and instructions, the foster mother gave us about 5 outfits for Jack, Christmas presents for all of us, photo albums, and toys. Then they gave me a carrier and put Jack in it. His foster mother was crying and telling him goodbye in Korean, after a while the social worker told me to go ahead and walk off, so I did. But his foster mother ran after us and held onto Jack one last time and hugged Kyle and I. For days I would break down crying replaying that in my head, I feel so blessed by her love for my son, and I cannot wait to see her again someday in heaven.

Unlike the first time we met him, Jack was very calm during all of this, not a tear. We began walking back to our hotel and he fell asleep in the carrier. When we got to our room, I sat and let him sleep till he woke up. When he woke up he was very scared, he had no idea who we were or what was going on. That first hour of him crying was hard, but I comforted him the best I could and eventually realized that maybe he would be happier if I was not holding him, we put him on a pallet on the ground with toys and I sat next to him and he was happy. Ever since then, he seems happy to see us and only unhappy when he has a need that needs to be met or during the night. For the first couple of days he asked for his ooma (Mommy in Korean) several times a day, but lately that has lessened. He appears to have bonded with me on some level and cries when I leave the room. He is a very happy baby and his favorite past time seems to be laughing and making funny noises.

God worked out some miracles on our behalf on the flight home. We had three different people move us to the front of lines so that we could make our connecting flight in Los Angelos. I cannot thank you all enough for your many prayers, the Lord immensely blessed our travel, Jack did great never crying for too long, and sleeping some, I couldn't have asked for it to go better. Of course I hope to never have to get on a plane again, two 24 hour trips in less than a week is crazy!!

Kylynn loves Jack, but is not crazy about sharing me with him, but is getting better everyday, now that we're back to "normal" life and routine. Our parents cared for Kylynn and she had a blast while we were gone and tells me she wants to go back to Nana/Grandpa's house (I'm pretty sure there was less rules there :). My parents came that first weekend we were back and it blessed us to have them here loving and admiring our new baby, we were really sad when they had to go.

We'll see what the future holds but right now Jack seems like a very happy baby who really loves his family, and I even think he'll be a great sleeper once he figures out we've left Korea! :)

All I want for Christmas is some sleep

I'm a sleep junky. I can sleep 9 hours a night ever night easily and still feel groggy for the first hour I'm awake. Now anyone who's met Kylynn probably knows why that's possible, let's just say she wears one out.

Today it's been a whole week of having our beautiful baby boy, but it's also been a whole week of being up most of the night. In Korea it's 14 hours ahead of us, so basically Jack thinks it's daytime when it's night time and vice versa. We've had some nights better than others but based on last night we're still not there yet.

I am planning on blogging the whole story of finding out Jack was ready, flying to Korea, meeting Jack for the first time, and so one...but right now I'm so tired I'm not sure if my story would be coherent.

I will say, THANK YOU, for all your prayers. To God be the glory, great things he has done. Our whole trip was one huge answer to prayers and God worked out several miracles for us along the way. Jack is doing great, he is a million times easier than Kylynn was at this age, very happy, just doesn't understand why I'm keeping him up all night and wanting him to sleep all day. This too shall pass...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jack's Home



*This is an email Kyle sent out, in my state of tiredness I will copy it here, and write more later..when Jack learns when's it's night time and when it's day time.*

Howdy Family!

Because of God's wonderful blessing, I'm delighted to announce that Jack is home! Jenny and I enjoyed our trip to Korea. We learned what a wonderful place Korea is, that their culture is welcoming and respectful, the sights are impressive, the city is clean and modern, and the food tastes great. Kylynn spent a few days with her grandparents during our trip.

Jack is cute with short black hair, a small stature, and eyes so dark I can't distinguish the pupil from the colored part. He likes to smile and when he get's excited he kicks his legs. He crawls on his belly, army style, and mostly keeps himself upright when he's sitting.

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."

Isaiah 43, The Bible


Please join Jenny and me as we rejoice over his homecoming. God was faithful, as ever, by bringing Jack home by Christmas, caring for us tenderly during the travel, and causing Jack to quickly trust this pair of strange looking, smelling, and sounding foreigers. Thank you for praying for us.


In peace,


Kyle

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Korea

Well, we made it. The flight was long, very long but all went well, with no problems, thank you for your many prayers. It is very nice here, very clean, and the people are very polite and helpful. There are times when I can forget that I am not in the US. We're really enjoying the food and the weather is thankfully "warm" for this season. We have done a ton of shopping and visited two different palaces that were beautiful.

Yesterday we met Jack for the first time, it was a bit magical and overwhelming. His foster mom came into the room with him tied to her back and her coat was over them both, so when the social worker said here's your baby I was confused what she was talking about. He is very attached to his foster mother (a huge answer to prayers) and she is absolutely wonderful. Please be in pray for us as he is very shy and every time we held him he became instantly upset and scared. This is going to be a very difficult transition for him, please pray that he would trust us soon and for the adjustment of us all, including sleeping together, flying on a long flight, calming him and feeding him well.

Somebody give Kylynn a big hug and kiss from me and tell her we miss her but our buying her lots of gifts to make up for it! :)

I will write more later when we have time. Thank you all for your many prayers!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Jack,

I hope that someday I'll be able to express to you the way you were anticipated, prayed for, and celebrated. I hope that in the times you find life to be hard or you perhaps try to think no one loves you, the number of people who called and wrote me crying and praising God for you yesterday will carry you through. I hope that you will be strong enough to be just who you are, your story is unique but I hope you take pride in that. I hope you stand tall that the Lord has such plans for you that He would give you three mothers who love you, two countries to call your own, and to have God worked miracle after miracle in your short 9 months.

Someday I'll understand this miracle of adoption better, right now I'm just walking in obedience and love and anticipation. It is only by faith that I know what I'm doing, practically speaking I have no idea how to raise a son, how to deal with the issues of being an "interracial family", how to help you through the certain hurts of not knowing your birth mother or father. But I promise you to always pray over my decisions for you, to walk in faith, to trust God's plan for your life, to parent you by the only Book that gives me true answers, the Bible, and to say I'm sorry when I mess up.

I've missed you for a long time, I cannot wait to meet you. Your big sister is so excited. Yesterday she gave me a long list of all the things she's going to do for you. Today she said, I'm ready for my baby brother to come home! We all are and this is going to be the best Christmas ever. I love you baby boy and if I'd go to the ends of the earth to get you once, I'll do it again, don't forget that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My hands have finally stopped shaking

We got the call this morning that Jack is ready for us to go and get him. Now we have the task of arranging hotels, flights, childcare for Kylynn, luggage, and on and on so that we can go. We are trying to book the flight/hotel right now, as soon as I know more I will share.

Please pray for us that my hands will continue to not shake (feel the Lord's peace and prescence), that He works out all this crazy travel perfectly so we can go quickly, that He would calm Kylynn down (she has picked up on the frenzy and is worried), and take care of the million of details, most of all that Jack would feel safe and loved with Kyle and I.

Thank you for all your prayers, I will write more I promise about this miracle that God has worked out every step of the way...I'm so glad I didn't miss out on this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We will never forget

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of when bonfire fell. I was a sophmore that year and I was changed in that moment in so many ways. Every year Kyle and I, and now Kylynn go to the memorial to walk around and remember what happened, but most importantly to pray. I pray for the family and friends of those 12 who died that day. I pray for this university that I love so much. As much as that event was tragic and sad, it was uplifting and inspiring as well. We were reminded that we are a family at Texas A&M, no matter how big the school is, we love one another. I walked around that tragic day and the days that followed and sat in my classes where the professors just talked to us and let us talk, and we just comforted one another, hugged one another, and prayed for one another even though we were by some's definition "strangers". I remember walking over to wear stack fell that day and it was surrounded by hundreds of people just praying and hugging and I knew that we would get through it okay because at Texas A&M we are a family and we are a family that loves God and He would walk us through this time, and He did.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Listen this week, You'll be glad you did

Since November is Adoption Awareness month Focus on the Family's radio broadcast will be focused on that topic. Please listen, these godly men and women have such important things to say on this topic. Here's the details:

During the week of November 17-21, 2008, tune in to Focus on the Family and FamilyLife’s radio broadcasts. We’ll cover issues related to orphan care and adoption. Here is an overview of what will be discussed:

  • The plight of the orphan in today’s world.
  • God’s heart for the orphan – the most vulnerable of the least of these.
  • Practical ways to follow God’s call to care for orphans
Need more info click here.

November has another meaning for me

Every November my church, Grace Bible Church, has it's missions conference. Five years ago this month God somehow dragged me to one of the events and forever changed my perspective, which would in turn change everything about how I spend my money, my time, and my resources. I want to share my story, even though it is at times embarrassing in hopes that someone might realize that just like God has a role for us all to play in caring for the orphans, he has a role for us in reaching the nations with the good news about Jesus. Here we go...

As part of our misssions conference that year our church was hosting a "Day of Discovery" which was touted as Perspectives in a day. For anyone not familiar with those events it was a day long class on missions. Kyle really wanted to go and I'm pretty sure my first response was no way, I am NOT going to spend an entire Saturday bored out of my mind learning about missions. Besides if there was one thing I was sure of it was this, I was not now not ever going on a missions trip, frankly I wasn't interested in leaving this country for fun, I definitely was going to live in Africa and eat bugs (unfortunately that is probably a quote, no exageration here). But the Holy Spirit moved in me just enough that I chose to try and be a godly wife and go if it was so important to Kyle.

So we get there and I am not happy but I'm going to be there for 9 hours so I might as well listen. The speaker stands up there and just begins to read from the Bible, showing us God's heart for the lost, His desire that none should perish, His love for all people. Then he reads from the Bible the scary stuff (for me at the time) the commandments (yes commandments) to go, to make disciples, to send, to teach, to serve. We learned a lot more about the world, the people in this world who have never heard about the fact that Jesus died for their sins and if they just believe that they will spend eternity with Him in heaven. We learned how many people there are who have never heard and how few workers are there sharing with them and how even less money is given to help those missionaries. We learned how 98% of all international people who come to live in America for a period of time, never set foot in an American's home, that one made me cry. So I sat there all day and the man just read from the Bible and shared facts about missions around the world no gimmicks just truth, but it was all one needs to hear, and I left there sad and scared to death.

I have never experienced the fear of the Lord (a respect and understanding of my need to obey) as strongly as I did when we left that class. At the end we had a chance to pray and this is about what I said, "Lord I do NOT want to go on a missions trip, but I'll go if you make me. Lord, I am scared out of my mind as to what this might mean...I don't want to live in Africa and eat bugs and not get all the comforts of America, but I am more scared of not walking in obedience to You. Please tell me exactly what to do and give me everything I need to do it, because all I can contribute is saying okay." We got in the car and Kyle said I'm so excited I think we should go on a short term trip and I literally shaking with fear said if God wants us to I'll go. Kyle was shocked, I'm sure.

So after that day I committed to all I could at that moment, to pray everyday for God to send workers to the field, and I did. Then God told me clear as day to go on a short term trip, we signed up for one and 8 months from that class we went. But the awesome thing and what I hope encourages you, is God took care of everything. I mean not just all the physical things (the money, the doctor appointments, the plane tickets, the details), He took care of the biggest challenge of all, my heart. God used those months of prayer and Bible study to take away my fear, to trust Him with my life fully, to give me a love for the lost and for all nations, and to fall deeper in love with Him than I had ever been before. Oh, and I didn't have to go to Africa or eat bugs, my view of the world was so small and so wrong.

So I encourage you, pray. Ask God what do You want me to do with what You said,

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."Matthew 28:19

"Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts1:8.



"13For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Romans 10:13-15

More ideas

I have directed you to this blog before, and I wanted to put a link here on what the writer of Sit A Spell blog is doing for Adoption Awareness month. To read it click here .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Change for Orphans

This is my personal favorite on fun ideas to help support orphans, I just haven't figured out where I could put the bucket:

*Change begins with you. Here's what you do!



Step One Board Change

Choose a group of people, like your family, friends, church or small group, and tell them why you want to collect change for orphans. Use the DVD, Bible verses and facts in the Show Hope Change for Orphans packet to help inspire and encourage people to donate.



Step Two Board Change

Set out the Change for Orphans bucket and regularly dump out the change in your pocket, empty that jar in the closet, or forego a coffee or meal out that week and throw in a couple bucks. Consider working through the 30-day booklet, Seeds of Change, exploring God’s heart for orphans and adoption

Step Three Board Change

After 30 days, convert to a check the money you collected, and send it to Shaohannah’s Hope using the envelope in your packet, or Donate Online Now. Together, these small amounts become a world of change for an orphan. Include a short story of what you did, why, and what you accomplished.

Step Four Board Change

Don’t let it end there! Prayerfully consider what other steps God might have for you, whether they are continuing to collect change, starting an adoption fund at your church, or stepping out in your neighborhood to mentor a foster kid. Read through the Act Now booklet for more ideas, and change YOUR world for ORPHANS!

*This text in it's entirety was copied from Shaohannah's Hope.org

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You

In honor of Veteran's day, I wanted to say thank you to all the veterans out there. I looked on the internet to try and find a beautiful poem to post, but none of them seemed quite good enough for what you've done. So I know it's not enough but I want to give you my gratitude and my prayers for all of you who have in the past and are currently serving our country.

I especially want to thank my dad who's 26 years of service helped formed me into the person I am today. I know your sacrifice was not as big as some but it was significant and I learned how to love this country by watching you do the same.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So what can I do?

So maybe there is someone out there reading this blog that has said, yes I believe God wants me to care about orphans, but what can I do?

For the next couple of days I will post some ideas that Shaohannah's Hope gives. Today's idea is start an "Orphan Sunday" at your church. This is what the organization suggests:

*Orphan Sunday


One of the most important parts of a successful church ministry is winning the church community to adoption. If you haven’t already, be sure to meet with your church leadership. Before you can formally introduce any ministry in your church it is critical to respectfully and prayerfully seek the counsel, advice, and guidance of your pastoral leadership for purposes of accountability, ministry growth, and access to the church body. Once leadership in your church has caught this vision, it is time to go to members of the congregation to raise corporate awareness.

If your church has established small group Bible Studies, you might consider preparing an inspirational and informative presentation to share on adoption and orphan care with these groups.

Sharing with the Congregation: Orphan/Adoption Sunday

An ideal way to raise awareness and resources in your church is to dedicate a specific day to orphans and adoption. If your church leadership is willing to allot time in one of the main worship services (Sunday service) to teach on God’s call to care for orphans and to celebrate adoption, we have laid out for you a few suggestions for a “Spirit of Adoption” Service or a “Build a Bridge of Hope Sunday” to celebrate adoption in your church. Here is a sample “Build a Bridge of Hope Sunday” outline.

  1. Establish a date convenient for your fellowship. Preferably around other adoption related events/celebration. Historically, National Adoption Day is celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving during National Adoption Awareness month (November). Although any time is appropriate there are a few important dates to note that might help in encouraging your leadership to participate. Possible dates: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the Sunday after National Adoption Day, or a Sunday in November, National Adoption Awareness Month, or May, National Foster Care Month.
  2. Advertise around the church on bulletin boards or where appropriate using “Adoption Sunday” posters.
  3. Encourage your senior pastor to preach about God’s heart for orphans, using resources from Inspirational Materials or the Show Hope Store.
  4. Play Build a Bridge of Hope video narrated by Steven Curtis Chapman , the Family Testimony video, the Hidden Treasure video, or the Facts video available on the Show Hope DVD.
  5. Allow an adoptive family to give their testimony.
  6. Dedicate a percentage of offering to your own adoption/orphan care ministry.
  7. Bring ALL adoptive families on stage for closing worship/prayer.
  8. Have a time of “Special Music” using one of the adoption songs mentioned in the Inspirational Materials, or show the “When Love Takes You In” music video.
  9. Provide bulletin inserts using the H.O.P.E. guidelines with information on http://www.howtoadopt.org/ for those who may be interested in adopting.
  10. Announce the first Adoption Ministry small group meeting. You may want to consider organizing an adoption workshop in your church as well.
  11. Consider providing a departing gift or some materials for your church members.
*The entirety of this text was copied from Shaohannah's Hope.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pro-Life?

When thinking of adoption there is another hot topic that is forever linked, abortion. The church is of course against abortion, the murder of countless babies should grieve us, but I want to give you consider whether or not there is something we can do about it.

One of my spiritual heroes is Kim Schams. Kim came to speak to our Sunday School class one week on adoption and she told the story of how her non-profit agency came to exist. A number of years ago she was reading an editorial in the paper in regards to abortion. The writer said that Christians in fact are not as "pro-life" as they would like everyone to believe. The writer pointed out if you were able to put a stop to abortions there would be many things to suddenly deal with. She posed the question of, who would take these women to the OB appointments, who would purchase maternity clothes for them, who would teach them how to be a mother, who would counsel them if they chose adoption and had to live with the pain of that decision, and ultimately who would raise all those children? She ended it by saying that Christians in fact talk the talk but don't walk the walk and they are not willing to take care of all that needs to be done for a woman who chooses life over abortion. Well Kim became mad and determined, and she answered that writer's question with, Yes I will! And so, Aggieland Pregnany Outreach was born.

Unfortunately many more Christians do not become mad or determined when reading that writer's points, many more in fact realize that the writer is correct and are not willing to do anything to change that. You see one determined lady can only do so much. Every woman who chooses life needs a multitude of help, not just for nine months, but for 18 years as most of the women Aggieland Pregnancy counsels choose to parent their children by themselves. So you call yourself pro-life, so what are you going to do about it? Will you give financially to help others adopt or adopt a baby of your own? Will you spend time and resources to support agencies out their fighting for life like, Aggieland Pregnancy? Will you pray? Because the truth is the world is watching and they judge our Lord by our actions not by our picket signs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November is Adoption Awareness month

I hope to focus this month on some topics that bring awareness and attention to adoption since November is Adoption Awareness month. I wasn't quite sure where to start so I thought the best place to start is always pray. Would you consider joining me to pray for adoption related issues every day in November or once a week in November. Here is a list of issues that you can pray over if you would like or please pray as God leads you.

1. God would care for the orphans all over the world, providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
2. Every orphan would someday have a family of his very own.
3. God would speak into the hearts of families he would like to adopt waiting children and they would be bold to obey.
4. God would provide the financial assistance to families involved in the adoption process.
5. Processes would be put in place that are easier, quicker, and yet still safe for future adoptions.
6. God would comfort and draw near to Himself those mothers and fathers who are grieving after placing their child with an adoptive family.
7. People involved in adoption (children, birth parents, adoptive parents, agencies) will see God in this miracle and be drawn into a relationship with Him.
8. God would provide the strength and patience needed for those who work in orphanages around the world.
9. Children in orphanages would be cared for well, somebody will pick them up to hold them out of love at least once a day.
10. God would bless waiting parents with peace, patience, and a good support network.

I you would like to pray for adoption in relation to my family you can pray for:
1. Jack would be home by Christmas.
2. God would provide/work out details for a cleft team to perform needed surgeries on Jack.
3. God would be preparing our hearts, Kylynn's heart, Jack's heart for us all to bond together as a family, to know and love each other well.
4. For details of travel, care of Kylynn to be taken care of and to go well.
5. For continued guidance in our role in caring for orphans and the possibility of future adoption(s).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A shower for Jack


Some very sweet friends threw me a shower for Jack today. Even though I didn't need much this time around, it meant so much to me to have this same experience for Jack that I did for Kylynn. I love that this is one more thing that will make him the same and not different, that I can tell Kylynn the story of her shower and do the same for Jack.

So thank you my sweet friends for taking the time to throw me a wonderful shower. Everything was beautiful. My most talented friend, C, made me the sweetest cake (and yummiest!) that even said "A Chosen Child" on it...I absolutely loved it and it was so perfect. It was fun to get to talk about our journey some and open neat gifts that are just for Jack.

Thank all of you who came and sent gifts, I loved the gifts for Jack, they will be a great help to Kyle and I, most of all I loved hearing you pray over me and Jack. God has and is doing some wonderful miracles in this adoption and your prayers are powerful and are accomplishing much. This celebration of Jack and how special it is that he gets to join our family through the beauty of adoption meant the world to me. Thank you.

Happy Halloween


Here's some pictures of our fun Halloween. We went to a trick or treat event at Kyle's work, a party at some friends of ours, and trick or treated around the street, it was a lot of fun and this year she totally understood what was going on and is still trying to find her candy...I wonder where it could be :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Jessie!



Do you know how blessed I am by you? Did you know that the older we get the more I love you, the more I like you :), the more I depend on you. When we were little I never saw you becoming the woman you are today, the care taker, the one who loves her family enough to stay near them no matter what, the hard worker who is so good at her job. You grew up and became a woman that I greatly admire, someone who I know I can count on when I need someone to talk to, someone to take care of my baby girl, someone to make sure Mom and Dad are doing well.

If you weren't my sister I would still want to be your friend, but I feel a great sense of pride that indeed you are My sister. You are part of that core of who I am, someone who knows me as I am, not the woman I've decided to be today only but how I got here. You will know me from my birth to my death and in that I find a great relief. Someone I can call and start the conversation in the middle, no need to explain what's going on, why I have the insecruities I do. You know me, because my life has always been a part of your life.

And I know you. I thank God everyday for you, that I get to be your sister, to know you, to watch you live your life, to listen to your stories that you can tell like no other, and to smile and laugh so hard I feel like I might just throw up again (you know the story, you tell it so well).

I love you, Jessie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The family she made

There's nothing like hard times to either bring people together or tear them apart. The past few days have been used by God to remind me just how blessed I am to be a part of my family. There are a lot of blessings that we don't give God full credit for because we think we had a role in acquiring them (even without realizing we're doing that). But family, that is easy to see was all God, I could no more control what family I was born into than I could cause the sun to rise. Thanks be to God for this great blessing in my life, my family.

My grandma is in the hospital, she broke her leg and needed surgery. It's scary, I walk around the house with butterflies waiting for my phone to ring to get the latest update. But God has blessed me with His peace, when I let Him and decide to trust. The good part of it all has been that I've talked to my family several time a day for three days now. I usually only talk to them once every few weeks or once a month, so this constant talking has been nice. It has been wonderful to know that we're all pulling together to get through this, everyone willing to sacrifice and help out in anyway needed, checking in on each other to make sure we're doing all right. We are a very close family and we all love my grandma dearly, so we'll be stressed for a while as the treatment continues but I know we'll get through this and end up closer for having gone through it together. Because that's what we do, this is the family she made.

Please pray for my grandma her name is Lila, that God will protect her from infection and pneumonia, heal her leg, and fully recover from the side effects of the drugs and trauma. Thank you from my whole family who knows we are the family we are today because of her.

To read a previous post on my grandma click here.

video
Here's a video of my grandma.
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And here's a video I hope makes her smile.

"I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right." Billy Graham

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

If talk of poo-poo offends you, then please do not read this post, because it would be more accurately titled, "Adventures in poo-poo training."

We are in week three of potty training and Kylynn is doing a great job..mostly. She gets the peeing just fine and goes a whole week without an accident. We even drove to Decatur and home without any accidents. The problem, and it's a big one, is that she has decided that something about pooping in the potty is scary. And if that wasn't bad enough, it somehow evolved into pooping in general being scary.

So this is a typical day with my two year old. After breakfast, "Mommy my belly is hurting", me "Yes, honey, you need to go poo-poo, let's go sit on the potty", her "no mommy I don't need to go poo-poo". This repeats up to 10 times until she has held it in long enough that the moment passes. Then we usually have a time where she says, "Mommy, I'm going poo-poo now!" So we rush to the potty, when the poop doesn't come out in 5 seconds, she hops up and says I don't need to go! (in a very angry, unhappy voice). We then repeat that around 10 times. Then she takes a nap, if she doesn't poop during her nap the afternoons are the absolute worst! She is a totally different person, crying 90% of the time, everything is drama, everything upsets her. She continues to tell me that her belly hurts, I continue to try to get her to poop on the potty and the cycle continues, until...she poops in her underwear, which is horrible to clean and I think adds to her fear of pooping.

Last week, she held in her poop for two whole days, that's right two whole days of cranky beyond belief two year old. Finally Kyle said, we're getting that poop out of her now! He went inside got her a glass of undiluted apple juice. It worked, of course it worked by her pooping in her underwear three times, but at least she was happy doing it.

Of course this was my prayer request at my Bible study this morning, oh the joys of being a mommy, saying poop in my prayer request! :) But I just am at a complete loss of what to do, she has absolutely stumped me. She is very strong willed, so there is no making her sit on the potty till it comes out, no reasoning with her, no bribing her (I've tried trust me). And I've heard that this is common and can last a very long time...I don't know if I can take it! Pray that I don't lose my mind, and if it doesn't make you uncomfortable to use the word poop in your prayers, pray Kylynn will learn how to poop in the potty!!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's not just for boys

We went to the park today for playgroup and eventually Kylynn needed to use the potty. So I walked her over to the bathrooms and they were under construction, as in men walking on the remaining roof dropping wood onto the potties, definitely not an option. So I began to talk up how we were going to get to go pee-pee outside. "Guess what, we're going to pee-pee on the grass, just like Raven does! Isn't that so cool!" Luckily (or so I thought) it worked. She was very excited, so I stripped her from the waist down just to be careful, she peed, and then I put her back together.

I thought that would be the end of it (because I still haven't learned that with my little adventure loving girl, nothing's ever that simple). The other moms and our children were sitting at a picnic table eating lunch, when I heard someone giggle. I looked up and there was Kylynn mooning us! She had pulled down her pants/unders and was peeing on the ground right in the middle of the playground for everyone to see. Luckily she's still young enough that everyone thought it was funny and their kids are still allowed to play with Kylynn :). Of course she did it again before we left as well as at home in our backyard this afternoon. Well at least it will come in handy when we go camping in a couple weeks :).

Monday, October 13, 2008

A book that spoke to me


I recently read the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore and I will never be able to look at people the same way again.

Homeless people scare me and so I treat them differently than I treat other people, differently than I know I should. Whenever I pass someone on the street or in a store I look them in the eye and I smile. But when I see a homeless person I avert my gaze, I do not treat them as my equal, I do not have the courage to look them in the eye and smile.

When Kyle and I took the Crown financial class the teaching on this verse was very convicting to us, "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me' Matthew 25:41-45. We felt like giving money to an organization was too easy and not all God was asking of us, so we began to carry water and granola bars in our cars that we would give to them when we saw someone hungry on the streets, but in my heart I continued to not love them the way I know God was asking me to. This book has helped me to see the homeless the way He sees them and has challenged me to love them they way I would love any other person I come in contact with.

It is one of the best books I have ever read and I couldn't recommend it more. It is an amazing true story that you cannot help but be touched by. Despite how it affected my view of homelessness, my favorite thing about the book was watching God work throughout it. I loved reading about the many ways that God spoke to these people, through dreams, prophecy, His word, and wise counsel. It was good for my soul to be reminded that God is always at work and God still speaks to us. It was a good reminder that God wants to use his people in a way that He will receive the glory, it is when we are broken that God can use us best, you don't have to wait till you become a "perfect Christian" to be used by God.

I hope that everyone reads this book, it will stretch you and challenge you and I believe you'll be better for having read it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A week of firsts





A few weeks ago, Kylynn had a big! week. It was filled with first time experiences.

Most importantly, she went to her first Aggie football game!! That's right we are richly blessed (and I mean that literally, the three tickets would have cost us around 270$). Some friends (who we are so thankful for!!) gave us their tickets to the Army game and we had amazing seats! We got dressed up in our Aggie gear and had a blast. The game was at 11:30 so the weather was nice and by half time our seats were in the shade. Kylynn loved seeing "Aggies" and being on "campus". She mainly climbed around on the bleachers during the game, but would say "Aaaaaaa" with me when we were on defense. I hope that this will be the first of many opportunities to enjoy the Aggies with Kylynn and that someday it will mean as much to her as it does to me.

Of course I forgot to bring my camera to the game, but here's Kylynn playing with "her" cat

Then Kylynn decided that it was finally time to be a big girl who wears "unders" all the time!! She has been wearing exculisively unders for two weeks now and usually has only one accident a day, she did have one day with no accidents! She also has begun to go poo-poo in the potty (forgive me if you are not a mom to a toddler), this is such a big deal and I am proud of her and completely exhausted from all the potty cleaning, hand washing, laundry from the past two weeks :)

Here she is with her prize for going on the potty all day!

I also took Kylynn to get her hair cut for the first time, she did great and wasn't bothered by it at all, although I'm not sure how she could be bothered. I took her a place that had a kiddie chair, so she was sitting in a race car, eating a lolly pop, watching a movie, all for 9 bucks! Her hair looks pretty much the same, just evened out and less tangly at the bottom.


Pool's closed, no problem she made her own :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

With a little help from my friends...



Did y'all watch The Wonder Years? It is to this day my most favorite show, and the theme song, With a little help from my friends, is one of my favorite songs. So when I was thinking about writing about how much my friends help me through this adoption process I had to include this great song for y'all to listen to.

When you decide to adopt they give you a lot!! of reading material to go through, to help prepare you for what to expect. I really appreciated the reading material (although I could have handled less articles on each individual topic) as it helped me to think through many aspects of International and inter-racial adoption that I hadn't considered. But let me tell you it is possible for the outcome to be different than what they try and tell you in all those articles, meaning you just might have wonderful people in your life who will make everything okay, not difficult.

Maybe I live in Utopia I don't know, but I have only had the most wonderful responses when people find out about our adoption. My friends, my church, and my community have absolutely blown me away. With all the steps along the way I've asked my circle of friends and family to pray and they have! I have had people tell me what they're praying for me and it makes me cry because it's the most wonderful perfect prayer that God laid on their heart and I would never have asked Him for that, even though it's exactly what I need. For example one of my closest friends told me that she was praying that God would sprinkle our scent onto Jack so that he would know our smell and be comfortable with us when we meet him.

People are genuinely interested about how the adoption is going, I get asked questions about it several times a day, and they listen with interest to what is going on. They are invested in this process with me and they go through the ups and downs with me. When we found out who are son was I had a friend come out to me who had learned about it on our blog and hug me with such excitement telling me how she just cried when she found out she was so happy for us. I can't talk to a family member without them wanting to know, when will Jack be home and hearing we've got to get him home soon.

People think of him as my son. This is the ultimate for me. In this training material, you read about people having friends or family who will not accept their child who was adopted and treating them like an outsider, even introducing their family as this is their daughter Kylynn and this is their adopted son, Jack...I would lose my mind, I would be so angry! I never want Jack to be treated like anything other than what he is, my son, regardless of how he joined our family. I have had no one make me feel like they don't accept Jack as my son, they have given me hand me downs, planned a shower for me, and talked about how great it is that he will be the same age as their son.

People want to help. A dear christian man who is mentoring my husband has been a god send on going through all the medical reports with us and translating it into phrases we understand. He is a doctor and has given us great advice not just as a doctor, but as a father, and a man of God. I am still sane today because of him. People have emailed me to ask when they can bring us a meal after Jack's home. One of my closest friends gave me a great book she found called, "Are those children yours?". I don't ever have to worry about how are we going to accomplish this great task ahead of us, I know my support system will be there in more ways than I can think of, carrying the load when it gets to heavy to carry on our own.

With a little help from my friends...okay maybe a lot of help from my friends, I can do this, I can handle all the hoops I have to jump through to bring Jack home, learn what I need to about raising a child with a cleft lip and palate, deal with the emotional issues children can feel about being adopted and a different race from their parents, and even having two kiddos!!!

Thank you to each one of you who have done one of the thousands of things that have blessed my heart during this process. You are a blessing to my family and I will forever be grateful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's happening with the adoption?

I get this question a lot and I feel bad because I never have anything new to share. I want to have news, sometimes I kind of even make something up to tell them (not that I'm lying but it's not really "news" that I'm telling them).

But, today we got an email from our agency with real news so I actually have something to say. Jack's emigration permit has been approved. This doesn't mean much more to me than it does to you, but I know it's good! In our guidebook it gives all the steps that need to be completed before we can pick him up and as far as paperwork goes that doesn't originate with us this is the first one, but there are several more.

My social worker that I've worked with locally (and is part of a different agency) had this to say, " It looks like your little one will be coming home in the not all too distant future!". This is probably one of those things that social workers shouldn't say, but so what, I loved hearing it!

Now don't start worrying about me, I've been involved in the waiting of adoption for 16 months now, so although I enjoy the good news and praise God for it. I'm not getting anxious thinking maybe I'll be going any day now. They said to expect to wait 3 to 5 months and it's been 1. On the other side of that I have everyone praying for this adoption and one of the things people are praying is that we will shock the agency and get Jack home even before 3 months. So I'm trying to balance the hope and the paitence and prepare things while not expecting him here before Christmas.

Another update I am feeling much better, I feel like I've come out of the fog of worry and fear and depression about getting Jack home. I feel much more joyful and trusting that God is taking care of him and He will continue to do that once Jack gets home. Thank you to anyone out there who was praying for me. The other night for the first time I dreamt about Jack and it was so wonderful (and real!) . In my dream, I was trying to make him a bottle but I didn't know how to mix the formula because I've never done it, then Kylynn had a poopy diaper, then Jack needed his diaper changed and I only had big sizes. I know it sounds like an anxious dream but really during it I was so happy, I was loving my crazy, hetic life, and thanking God for blessing me with my children. Then I woke up to Kylynn crawling on my bed to wake me up for breakfast that her and Daddy had made. From one dream to another.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike

Here in College Station we were blessed to be protected from Ike's wrath and even more blessed to have thousands of evacuees here that we can help. As I go about my days and deal with one little "crisis" and then another, it is a good reminder that I don't begin to know what a crisis is and I can thank God for that.

We actually had a wonderful experience due to Ike. A dear friend of mine that moved to Sugarland a couple of years ago came up to stay with us with her family. They actually evacuated after the hurricane ,she is an Aggie by association after working for A&M for years, so maybe she didn't understand how it was supposed to work :). Anyways, they got here Saturday evening and stayed with us through Monday. Now there were five extra people in my house and I have to tell you that it was a lot of fun. This is a major God thing, someone was praying for us, because 1) my house is relatively small and 2) I like my space and time to myself. Their oldest daughter who's 10 practically took care of Kylynn the whole time while she played with the 2 and 4 year old. The adults were tons of fun and did my dishes before I could blink. I have never had better company and we were all sad when they left (I'm promise!!). And then they thanked us by taking us out to eat (twice!) and giving us a gift certificate to Christophers because my friend remembered that I've never eaten there (which is true). What a blessing they were to my family, it wasn't fair, here I was wanting to help them out and it only went the other way around. It's funny the way God has set up His world to work.

On top of that, Ike got me the door prize today at Bible study. It was who had the most Ike evacuees staying at your house, I won with 5. This is not fair really, they should have said who had the hardest time keeping Ike evacuees in their house and I would have been the first to sit down.

So all in all it was a good weekend for some of us but a horrible weekend for so many more. Please pray for all those people who lost homes and the thousands who are without power. Pray specifically for them that power would be restored, they would be able to get ice, water, and gas as needed. I'm praying that God would use this horrible tragedy to do some amazing things in the Texas coast.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My "big boy"


No not Jack. Kylynn, she tells me several times a day, "Mommy I'm a big boy". To which I always say, no sweetheart you're a big Girl! Then she says no Mommy I'm a little girl...Ok that is technically true as well. Here is what my Big Boy/little girl is up to these days.

She's a BIG helper, it is amazing how much she loves to help with chores and she's actually even helpful at some of them. She now has a chore chart on the fridge that includes (throughout the week): help cook, take out recycling, fill up bird feeder, water plants, help put away dishes, feed dog, clean up toys, help with laundry, help make mommy's bed. She really loves to be my helper she would rather help me cook or put away the dishes than watch Elmo or eat cookies, so I hope it can become a routine now so she'll always be a part of all that it takes to keep a family and house running smoothly.

She loves to tell me about Jesus (which is my favorite thing to hear about, it really blesses me). Some of my favorite things she's said about Jesus lately. "Mommy, I want to see Jesus, I want to see Him". I explained that I want to see Him too and that we will someday and then something way over her head about how people can see Jesus in us when we do kind things. "Daddy Jesus have no crib" Really? Where did He sleep? "With the animals". "Mommy, Jesus ate a goldfish" Did, He? "MmmHmm, Jesus hungry, Jesus thirsty, Jesus cries" This one made me really excited I told her yes and then went into a long explanation about how wonderful it was that Jesus is God and yet he loves us so much he left heaven to save us and experienced all the same things we experience, I think her eyes glazed over :) Another of my favorites, "Mommy Jesus take care of Kylynn"

She is semi-potty training herself. That's right, I'm apparently not very good at this potty training business and have gone back and forth with her and made I'm sure a million mistakes. So currently when at church for Bible study, church, school, she tells the teachers when she needs to go potty, they put her on the potty and she goes. At home she either says "no unders, wear diaper" or she'll wear "unders" and then have an accident. Apparently though she'll include me in her loop of people she tells when she needs to go potty when she's good and ready to :).

She is so excited about Jack, she talks about him and asks to pray for him more often than I do. The other day she took her photo album opened it up to Jack's picture and showed "him" her ballerina jelwery box, telling him all about it. She understands (as much as she can)that she grew in Mommy's belly but God had a different plan for Jack so he didn't grow in my belly and that her baby brother lives far away right now and will come home soon. She tells me that her crib is baby Jack's crib and once told me her special blanket was Jack's blanket, which blew me away since it's her favorite thing in the world, I quickly explained that she didn't have to give Jack her blanket he'll have one of his own.

I'm very proud of her (can you tell :) and know she's going to be such a great help when Jack gets home. She has made such great progress on being "kind" (a word I say 50 times a day) and has become very good with manners. It's quite fun going out in public with her because she will make 10 new friends a day with adults and kids alike.

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This was a picture from when Kylynn
played in the sprinkler naked.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Some updates

I just wanted to let you all know that we have gotten a letter from our agency letting us know that the paperwork to complete this part of the adoption process has been mailed to the adoption country. They say we can now expect to wait 3 to 5 months to bring Jack home (from 8/28).

Thank you all for your prayers for the paperwork mess to be taken care of, it took 1 full month and should have taken 1 week...I know God's timing is perfect. Please pray that we would have Jack home in the 3 months (or less!) time frame.

I have begun reading all I need to accomplish in order to prepare to travel to pick up Jack and it is very overwhelming! Pray that we get all the steps completed correctly and are not overwhelmed by all the to-dos.

A dear friend of mine wants to throw me a baby shower so that is a really fun thing to look forward to. It means so much to me to have everyone doing things exactly the same as if I was pregnant with Jack, that is very much what I hoped for.

I'm having a hard time emotionally with the waiting. I am doing okay, but just feel down and am coping by eating (one of my many flaws) it has not been good for my waistline :) It is beyond stressful to me to see a month go by on the calendar due to paperwork and a nutty social worker and realize that was a month of my son's life without me, a month where nothing moved forward and the countdown clock was not clicking.

But 3 to 5 months will be here before I know it and all of this will be forgotten as we're caught up in our new life with Jack.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Well at least I'm not alone, the goats feel my pain.


I'm a fainter. The first time I remember fainting I was 6 or 7 and I've continued to pass out with amazing consistency. This week I had to go to the dermatologist, I had a funny mole on my leg I wanted her to look at. She agreed that it was suspect and decided to remove it by cutting it out, so she laid back the chair till it was in the laying down position and gave me a shot to numb it. So there I was LAYING DOWN in no pain, with no blood or guts in view and what do I do but pass out!! Luckily the doctor and her nurse were very calm and didn't seem the least bit concerned and it was all in all not a huge deal.

Now a little background on my amazing ability to faint. Every time I have fainted in my life and there have been many were to do with seeing blood (mine or someone else's) or having some type of procedure done by a doctor, most likely having my blood taken. My most amazing feat up until this most recent incident was passing out after HEARING a story about a bloody car wreck and their attempt at saving someone. That's right, there was absolutely no visuals to go along with the story, I heard it and passed out (in the middle of High School no less).

So for years I have on occassion asked a doctor about this strange fainting and they said dumb things like, Oh you're probably holding your breathe (which I can assure you I made sure this last time I was not!). Then about two years ago I was getting a physical for our adoption and we were going over all my history and I asked him about the fainting. And he said oh yes, you have "yadda yadda" disorder, it's not very common, but whereas most people when they're really scared or in distress their blood vessels and heart do one thing (speed up I think) your body does the opposite, it shuts down, causing you to faint.

So, this week after fainting again I was telling Kyle about it and he asked how it was possible to faint laying down when I could neither feel nor see anything painful. So I reminded him what the doctor had said...and he said, Oh yeah you have that fainting goat disorder.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goodbye Olympics, Hello Students, Kitty, and Job

Goodbye Olympics. I will miss you dearly, soon I will begin my count down till we see you again...4 more years till the next summer Olympics! You have been a wonderful friend these past two weeks, entertaining me, causing me to jump up and down with excitement, and reminding me why I love being an American. But you have also caused me to become so sleep deprived that I no longer make sense when I speak and the other day I fell asleep sitting straight up in Kylynn's room playing "kitchen". So while I'll miss you, it is time for you to go, I have to get something more done than just cheering for the USA!

The students are back in town, marking one of my favorite times of year I love their excitement about A&M and this new chapter of their lives. Being around them makes me remember how it feels to have a lifetime of possibilities and adventures laid out before you. Kyle and I got to go help out at a BBQ for students on campus this past weekend and it was such a joy to talk to the students, I'm always amazed by their intelligence and their respectfulness. Living in a student town is such fun for our family and we're so glad y'all are back. Whoop!!

In addition to the students we also have a kitty hanging around our house. Now we're not cat people and Kyle is allergic, but this kitten decided to adopt our family and we must admit it is a really sweet cat. This kitten has been coming around every other day or so for the past couple of weeks and Kylynn just loves it! It is a really playful kitten and Raven (our dog) doesn't know what to think about it, since the kitten is not afraid of dogs at all, and therefore doesn't run away.

Thank you for all your prayers and networking, Kyle has gotten a permanent job that he will start once his six week job is over. For once in our life we were calm and still and allowed God to work and it is nice to see that indeed there was a plan He was working out. God provided a job that Kyle is very excited about, with our first raise in a number of years, and a boss that he likes and respects. All of those things were an answer to prayer and none of them would have happened had he not been fired.

Now if only we could be calm and still again and allow God to work. But instead this adoption is making us frantic, we are at our best (and by that I mean worst) state of uptight, worrying, frantic type A people. The paperwork is still being rejected for something that doesn't make sense and we cannot fix, so our frustration is at a high. Please pray that our paperwork will be deemed acceptable on this try and will therefore be sent off to our adoption country. Until this happens we are at a stand still and the countdown of 3 to 6 months has not begun. Writing that makes me cringe..so I say to myself, "God is good, His plan for my life and this adoption is perfect, God's timing is perfect, God is in control, He is bigger than any crazy social worker or country, this adoption WILL happen in God's perfect timing and perfect way." Then I feel better for a while and do it all over again :)

This song has become my anthem, I literally walk around the house singing it whenever I'm worried about all that is unfolding. Has God asked you to do something crazy, listen to it I promise you'll soon be singing it in the shower!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jack

Life has gotten away from me, we've been so busy, I haven't had the chance to go back and tell everyone a little bit more about our baby boy and how the adoption is going.

First of all his name is Jack. We have not decided which of his Korean names to keep as his middle name, but his middle name will be one of the names his birth mother gave him. I like very unique names in fact I made up Kylynn's name in hopes that she would always be the only "Kylynn" in her class. But the more I thought about my unique boy names the more I thought about how our son is so unique already. He will most likely be the only Asian child with White parents in his class, maybe the only adopted child, and definitely a minority throughout life because of his heritage. So I wanted a name that was not the most popular but a name that would never be mis-pronounced or made fun of. I also wanted to honor Kyle's grandpa Johnny and his uncle Rick (who's given name is John), who were some of the most important men in Kyle's life and shaped him into the great man he is today. So Jack it is, Jack is a variation of John, which means God is gracious.

Indeed God is gracious. Our son is almost 6 months old now and was 5 months when we received the referral, this is a huge blessing as many of the children were not being referred for adoption till they were older. We are being told to expect 3 to 6 months to get him home, that would make it somewhere between November 2008 and February 2009, we are praying that it is very soon, even sooner than expected. We have filled out the paperwork that is to go off to different agencies in the U.S. and the country from which we're adopting. The paperwork was tedious to say the least, but after a week we got it all straightened out.

One of the common questions I am getting from people currently is whether or not he is "healthy". This is not something Kyle and I took lightly, we have spoken with a doctor twice regarding his medical records and in general yes he is healthy. He like me is not perfect though and we never set out to get a perfect child, just our perfect child. Jack does have a cleft lip and palette and his mother did not receive prenatal care for most of the pregnancy. All that to say we believe that he is healthy but you can predict very little about a person's future from the way they are at 5 months old. I can assure you that we prayed about this child, spoke with experts, received counsel and are sure of this: This is the child God has chosen for us. And that is all we need to know, the rest we will find out as we go.

So many of you have come up to us in the past few weeks and congratulated us and told us you are praying for us, I just want to say thank you. I love the look of joy and celebration on your faces, you make me more excited, you assure me that we will be well loved and supported throughout this journey of adoption we're on. Your prayers are more valuable to me than most anything in my life, I feel you holding me up when the journey has been especially challenging and tiring, as it has during these past few weeks.

I have a million things to do, so hopefully I'll stop with my procrastinating (which I do when I'm scared) and start preparing to be a mother of two, Kylynn and Jack.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grieving with Hope

As I'm sure many of you are aware of Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter in a terrible accident where his teenage son accidentally ran over his sister, Maria. I was so happy to see the video clip below of their interview with Larry King, to see that they are by God's good grace doing well and using this situation to glorify Him. It is an amazing interview that will touch your heart more than you can imagine, please take a moment to watch it. If you would like to learn more about their organization, Shaohannah's Hope, please click here.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's Olympics time!


That's right, the TV fast is no more. In fact I have gone to other extreme, I turn on the TV throughout the day, to see what sport is on, and watch every single night during prime time. I absolutely love the Olympics, especially the summer games!

My favorite sport is women's gymnastics, but I also love the swimming and diving. Yesterday I was watching beach volleyball and that was really good too. It's only day two but already I'm really bugging Kylynn. For the past two months the only time the TV was on was to let her watch an Elmo video, so she is peeved that I keep saying no to her request to watch an Elmo video, telling her no we're going to watch the Olympics! She does not catch my enthusiasm. Today she did sit with me and watch swimming, I bribed her with popcorn, but we had a great time.

I can't help but reflect that the Olympics came at a perfect time in my life. I need the distraction, something to keep my mind off of the desire to fly to our adoption country and bring my baby home. It also seems like pretty good timing for our country as a whole, it reminds us just how proud we are to be Americans. It brings us together, reminding us of all we have in common, instead of what separates us, like who we're voting for in November. It's a nice reminder, our country needs to come together, to focus on what binds us together, not bickering over our differences.

So, I encourage you, go turn on your TV to NBC! Watch the Olympics, cheer for the U.S.A! Enjoy those great human interest stories that always make you cry (you know it's true). Look at the smog in China and say, wow! I'm blessed to live where I can breathe. It's a great time to be an American.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's a Boy!

Our day has finally come. We have been given a child. He is the most beautiful little boy, I've ever seen. I cannot believe how much I love him already, and I cannot wait to meet him.

I am blessed to not only have pictures but also a video, I have already watched it three times! We will not be posting any pictures, etc. online due to our agency's policies.

I will write more soon. Please pray for us, that he'll come home very soon. And that I (and Kyle) will be able to have patience and not let the fact that my baby is not home consume me.

Y'alls prayers mean the world to me, you played the biggest role in bringing this baby to our family, God works through our prayers.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nursing an adopted child

I remember in the hospital after giving birth to Kylynn, the peditrian came in and asked me how nursing was going. It was going okay, but was still difficult at that time. I remember clear as day that he then said to me, "Don't worry it's hard for everyone, I don't know of anyone who would say that nursing was one of life's great experiences". Obviously he was a man who doesn't know a lot of the woman I know.

Since that time (including may stay at the hospital) I have met several women who would in fact say that breast feeding their baby(s) was one of life's great experiences. I also learned that I was one of those women. I nursed Kylynn till she was 19 months and it was not a burden but one of the greatest experiences in my life.

So, when I mourn different aspects of adoption, I mourn the loss of nursing this child. I think more than anything else I feel this loss the most. But I want to encourage anyone out there reading this blog who is considering adoption. You can in fact nurse an adopted child (especially if you are part of an adoption where you receive the child as a newborn).

If this is something you would like more information on please read this blog from Sit a Spell .

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Welcome to the world of the employed!

Well at least for the next six weeks. Kyle has found a job, to do contracting work for a company here in town. The job is for six weeks worth of work. Kyle still feels a little worried about the whole job situation but I'm happy. His boss is aware of Kyle's need for something that lasts more than six weeks and encouraged him to take time off for interviews as needed. So now Kyle can look for work (after work) while receiving a paycheck.

I hope what I have to say brings God so much glory... This past month has truly been one of the best months of my life, while at the same time being very challenging. God listened to all the prayers of His people, thank y'all for praying, and really blessed us. We were able to be calm while earning a combined income of zero dollars :). And I mean really calm, like calmer than we are when we had a job. We were able to have lots of good family time, Kylynn is going to miss her daddy once he starts going off to work again. I learned that my marriage has become such a strong, healthy, god-centered relationship (this has not always been the case, but that's for another post). God provided for us financially, we had friends give Kyle some work at their wood-working shop, it was just a little money but it blessed us greatly. We got approved for a local insurance after 1 week, instead of the one to two months they said it would take, so now we don't have to pay for COBRA for even one month. Most of all I felt the family of believers close in around us to take care of us in a number of ways, and I've never felt so safe.

Please don't stop praying for us, Kyle still needs a full time job, but I know God has a plan for that, and I'm excited watching Him work.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tagged

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was probably day dreaming about Kyle or talking to him on the phone. I had just graduated from H.S. and met Kyle and was about to begin my first semester at A&M. So I knew everything and was very excited about my new life "on my own" and hoped it included Kyle :)

Things on my to-do list today:

Today is almost over, so I'll tell you what I did. Pack up to drive home from SA. Listen to Kylynn whine, "I'm ready to go" 2267 times. Get the payment for S&W post marked. Went to the ATM and paid our dog babysitter. Planned meals for 4 new moms. Played in the sprinkler with Kylynn (in my clothes :). Made peach cobbler.

What are some snacks you enjoy?

If it's bad for me I probably love it. Pepperoni pizza, moose tracks ice cream, cheese puffs, soda. And most recently this amazing dip my sister-in-law C made, it was to die for!

What would you do if you were a millionaire?

I don't know that I'd do anything much different truthfully, but that's boring. So, I would buy us new cars (ours are 10 and 11 years old). Buy a bigger house, one that can hold lots of kiddos. I'd love to start a non-profit...but that would have to be once all my children are grown.

Name some places you've called home:

WY, OH, MD, TX. I was born in CA but I didn't call it home as was only there for 2 days :)

What are some of your bad habits?

Being a control freak, being bossy, being slightly OCD about my house, eating for fun.

What are some jobs you've held?

CPS caseworker, admin, Mom (or as I like to say CEO of the C household)

Who are you tagging?

Johnna, Angie D., and Kristen D.


*Sorry this is all in italics, being the computer genius I am I couldn't figure out how to get it off :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Congratulations Myles and Laura!


My brother-in-law got married this past weekend. I can't believe that he is old enough to get married, considering that when I married his brother he was 14. But as they say, time flies, and now Myles is all grown up. I couldn't be prouder of the man he has grown into and I have rarely seen someone in love as much as he is.

I love my new sister-in-law and can't help but think she had a lot to do with the man Myles is today.

I pray that the two of you find a way to use the amazing love God has given you for each other to glorify Him. I pray that you are blessed with many joyful years together. I pray that you are blessed with children that love and respect you. I pray that you make people jealous when they see the way you look at each other for years to come :).