Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Kylynn


Today is my daughter's second birthday. Which is odd because a week ago she was just a few months old. She is so special and the Lord has used her to teach me so much, that it's a temptation everyday to grab ahold of her very tightly and declare she is mine. But I let it pass and give her back to the Lord, for she is His and it is my job to raise her well during the short 18 years she's under my authority. Not that she would even let me hold her tightly for more than a second, she is as I always was her own confident, independent self. I love this poem it makes me think of you, Kylynn and the greatness I hope you allow God to use you for.

Dream of this

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves -- Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are we not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people do not feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Friday, May 23, 2008

In Memory of Maria

My first step into becoming involved with loving orphans was through Steven Curtis Chapman's organization Shaohannah's Hope. I heard about it on the radio and fell in love with him and his family and this organization that he started. The Chapmans have three biological children who are essentially grown and have now adopted three little girls from China. Out of his desire to see all orphans taken care of he started Shaohannah's Hope to mobilize Christians to care for orphans, one of the main things they do is provide funds to help people adopt.

So I was very upset to learn today that the Chapman's youngest daughter, Maria, was killed in an accident on Wednesday night. I cannot imagine what pain that family must be going through, would you please take a moment right now and pray for that family. If you would like to learn more about Maria and see a video of her you can go to: In Memory of Maria .

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hey C, me and the monkey miss you!


Everyone needs good friends, especially if you plan on adopting. My family does not live in the same city with us so I feel especially blessed with the wonderful friends God has given me that really are part of my family.

One of my friends, C, has blessed my life in so many ways. Among other things she is my walking buddy. She was so gracious to invite me along for her morning walks with her daughter, without her I have about a 5% chance of making it on a walk, but when I have her company to look forward to, I'm there! Thanks to C, my butt is smaller than it used to be :)

One of the things I love most about C is that she brought alive to me Acts 4:32, "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had." I kid you not if we were out walking and I asked her if I could use her shirt because Kylynn was cold she would give it to me. God has really used her to stretch me and see the joy and testimony to the world in loving each other with a selfless attitude.

She also shares her life with me and lends me her ear to hear about mine. This week has been stinky as she is gone far far away to visit family, I miss her company! God has really blessed my life with a friend that sees many things in a similar light, this is wonderful because often I see issues differently than some of the women I know. We give each other the freedom of being who we are without judgment.

So C, come home soon! Me, Kylynn, and even the monkey miss you! And my butt is getting bigger by the day! :)

*For anyone not familiar with my neighborhood, the picture of the gorilla is in a yard that we pass each morning on our walk, the girls love it!*

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ethiopia

In case there is anyone reading my blog who is interested in adoption I wanted to let you know about a new program being offered by my agency, Holt International. They now have a childcare facility up and running in Ethiopia. This is a place where children in need of adoption will be cared for by Holt until they can be placed with families. This center is run by Holt and they do this in all the countries they work in, they are not just an adoption agency but primarily an organization that seeks to care for orphans all over this world. When I read about what is going on in Ethiopia and the ease of adopting from there it makes me wish I had that option when we began the adoption process. I do not know that we would have changed countries but it would have been one of our top choices. Some things I love, a very quick time frame, ranging from 12 to 18 months from the time your application with Holt is approved (this is the absolute first step). Low cost, this is one of the least expensive programs that Holt has. Short travel, at least one parent is required to to Ethiopia to receive your child and stay for about one week. Age of children, children can be as young as 6 months old at placement. If you would like more information on adopting from Ethiopia you can go to: Holt Ethiopia . You can research online or you can also have a free informational packet mailed to you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Mom


Ever since I became a mother, Mother's day has become much more significant to me. Not because of the fact that now I also am celebrated, but because suddenly I realize the huge responsibility of celebrating my mom. Once you become a mom you see your own mother in a totally different light. All the things you do for your child, the lost sleep, the sacrifices you make, are things your mother did for you. And most of all when I look at my daughter, and think I should not be allowed to have such a crazy love for you, I know that my mom's love for me is just as big, just as crazy. So this is for you mom, I hope it in a small way it celebrates you.

When I think of strong women, I think first and foremost of my mom. This may surprise some of you who know her only a little, because she is never one to put the focus on herself or tell you what she has accomplished.

My mom had a hard childhood, they did not have the money for her to have nice things or sometimes medical care, so she decided that she would create a different life for herself, and she did just that. She didn't create this better life for her but for me and my sisters. She put herself through college working two jobs at a time and became a teacher.

When my my youngest sister was born my mom was raising 3 children ages 4, 2, and 0, I get stressed just thinking about that! Throughout my childhood my father had to travel a lot for the Air Force, so my mom parented us by herself for large chunks of time, she was able to juggle it all, it wasn't until I became a mom that I realized how hard that must have been on her, she never let it show. When my youngest sister was 2 my mom went back to teaching, so for most of my life, she worked full time and raised us girls (and all that that entails). Not to mention attending all the soccer games, throwing birthday parties, and teaching Sunday school. My mom's world revolved around being the best mother she could be, I always knew I was the most important person in the world to her.

When I was in college my mom also went back to college to get her masters in counseling, so that she could be a school counselor. For most women the dream of going back to college when you still have two children at home and a full time job, would stay a dream, not my mom. She accomplished yet another dream and each year children are blessed by her gift for what she does.

Being raised by a woman who not only dreamed big dreams, but went out and made them a reality is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. In my world nothing seems impossible, I feel free to dream big and to chase them down with her support. I feel like it is perfectly doable to travel half way around the world to find a child in need and raise them as my own. When something overwhelms me in my life, I think about my mom and remember that part of her is in me and she has shown me how to be strong. And if it still overwhelms me it's okay, I know that my mom will be right there for me whenever I need her, and with her by my side everything will be okay, she's convinced me of that a thousand times in my life.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you and I want to be just like you when I grow up.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

All About Kylynn



*Warning: This blog will be boring to most people, it is for the grandparents, and will contain all types of baby bragging :)

Since our daughter's grandparents don't get to see her as often as anyone would like I'd thought I'd give an update on everything that Kylynn is doing these days complete with pictures and videos. Y'all should know that she talks about you often, requests several times a week to go to both "papa's" and "nana's" house. She even requests to go to Grandma Reed's house by saying "mama cow's house" (this is because my grandmother has cows at her place, not because she's calling her mama cow :)

Kylynn's hair has gotten pretty long, I think I need to cut it but don't know what to do so I do nothing. She is currently loving to "hop" which means that she jumps off of things, so far no major injuries.

Kylynn now can tell you a story, now she doesn't use all the words necessary but it's pretty cute to hear her trying to retell something that has happened recently. She also now knows that babies grow in their mommy's tummy and then drink their mommy's milk, she tells me this often!

Speaking of babies, this is still her obsession. She loves babies, looking at them, talking to them, and even looking at baby items (cribs, strollers, pacifiers) whether in real life or in pictures. It has become quite obvious that she talks to babies the way I do, so when I see her "impression" of me it makes me laugh, do I really look that goofy?

Kylynn really blesses me as she is often the one who asks to "pray mommy" before I think of it, or even when I forget. She now asks to pray before we drink tea (this is the pretend type) and then says "Amen!" and then says "Amen!" for her baby dolls. Kylynn's baby dolls now must always be with her, when she goes to bed I have to tuck in baby Amy with her. This requires double everything, two blankets, two puppies, and two "night night books". I feel like I already have a second child :)

She is of course about to be two, so she does have her moments, but so far the terrible twos have not shown themselves in our house. She is really a delight to Kyle and I. She is starting to tell jokes and just laugh at them, so that even though you have no idea what she said, it's very funny!

Please come see us anytime you'd like, Kylynn would be overjoyed to see you all. You'll have to go sit in her kitchen and have her cook for you, it is the most fun thing to see.
video
Kylynn currently wants to see herself on the camera before I've even taken the video, that is why she sits down on my lap in the middle of the video :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

7 months and counting

I wish I had some type of update on the adoption for y'all. Unfortunately all I've got is our homestudy has been in our country for 7 months now. Last I heard the wait time for assignment is between 10 and 12 months, so we've got some more waiting to do. Then once a child is assigned it will still take several months (3-7) to get our baby home. I will say though, that it seems like it's getting nearer and more real, I mean in a "few" months we should have a child assigned, that's better than saying in a year...

The good news, time is flying by. Considering that my life seems to get busier by the day and more frantic trying to keep up with a two year old, the house, the chores, and the volunteering, the baby should be here in about a week :)

I had a wonderful experience the other day, I went to the park and I saw a (white American) mom with two children, each adopted from different countries (India and Korea). I cannot tell you how much I was drawn to them, I kept staring at them, not wanting to leave because they were the most beautiful family I've ever seen. I left there so happy, just praising God that someday my family will look like that. This was a great experience for me because it was a huge answer to pray. When we first began the adoption process (1 year ago!) several of our friends were pregnant with their second or third child, and I felt a little like maybe that's what we should be doing, I mean it looked like so much fun and I didn't want to be left out. So I sat down and just asked God that he would have the desires of my heart match His, if this adoption was what He wanted us to do, that He would take away my desire to be pregnant and fill me with a desire to adopt. It's amazing how He has done that for me, I no longer feel any longing when I see my friends pregnant but I feel great longing when I see families with children from other countries.

Thank you all for all the prayers you've said for our family. This time where it looks like not much is happening, I know is very important to God and what He's doing in our life. We'd love your continued prayers for the health of our baby, God's timing and peace for us, and for us to glorify Him through this process.