Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Four days!!!!!

I can count how long before we go to Ethiopia on ONE HAND!!!! Four days... OH YEAH!!!! I just think about them and my heart melts and aches at the same time. Adoption. Everything about this process has made me more thankful for the love that the Father has for us... that he adopted us as his sons and daughters when we were not worthy. His love for us FAR exceeds ours, and I am just so blessed to be known as HIS daughter! i think about our boys and I just want to sing REALLY LOUD, dance all around, and rejoice in the goodness of OUR FATHER! Then in the next moment, my heart just yearns to be with them and I get a tear in my eyes thinking about how far away they are, and how long the next few months are going to be as we wait, and wait, and wait. One of my friends said she told her kids about our boys and they run around the house excitedly chanting their names. I said Ryan and I do that too! Baby Dan, JoJo!

I am so thankful to have such loving, praying supporters and I ask that you keep on... lift Ryan and I up as we wait and continue to serve knowing that half of our family is waiting in a small room in Ethiopia! I feel like I am about to have the BEST 10 days of my life "playing house" in a hotel room with our precious littles, and then I start thinking about leaving them there and I want to just cry. I have to say, one of my friends said it best as she is also waiting for her little men,

"I wonder how much of this I'll remember. If this season will just be some miserable little blur in our history, or if I'll look back and treasure what the Lord was doing inside of me in the months that felt like years before the LIFETIME with my boys began."

She said what my heart wanted to but didn't have the words. Now we wait. and let the Lord do His work in our hearts. and we love. and we have the time of our lives in Ethiopia!!!!

Josiah, oh my little JoJo... I cannot wait to hold your little hands and kiss your little cheeks and sing you to sleep in my arms. I have been waiting for you for a long, long time, and knowing that you are waiting for me makes me happy, even though i would rather just be with you instead of waiting any more time. I can't wait to see your personality and play cars with you. I long to teach about Jesus and how good He is to us, and to show you how His love for you is far more than Momma's, and her love for you is HUGE!

Daniel, our sweet Baby Dan.... I want to pinch your cute little chin and measure how big your feet are... Daddy is going to be the first one to hold you and I am going to catch it all on video!!!!  I hope you will smile for us and give us some funny faces as well! I can't wait to cuddle and help you to learn how to sit up and crawl.I want to teach you to love Jesus and to live your life for Him. You were rescued by Him, and He wants you to walk in the light of life. Momma loves you way more than you will ever know...

We prayed for a child, and God heard our prayers and we are SO glad that he picked YOU BOTH to be our sons! We are blessed beyond measure...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

9 days!!!

So the countdown has officially begun! It is only 9 days til we will be holding our little men. Oh HOW we look forward to that!!! We have been spending our free time out collecting toys, clothes, diapers, bottles... anything we might need as well as lots of donations to give to the care center. There are lots of older children that I know will actually be excited to get a new pair of shoes. Our boys are too little to care about shoes, they don't actually need them since they won't walk for quite a while... so I stopped looking in the baby shoes and moved up to older kid shoes! I cannot wait to meet some of the kids that are waiting for a family and play with them in the care center. I have seen some pictures and videos of others who have gone and the kids are so cheerful and playful and looking for attention and affection. I am so blessed that I can be there for a few days and share the love of the Father with them. Even though we will speak different languages, the love of the lord is greater than any language barrier.

We found some precious WASHABLE stuffed animals today and i cannot wait to see J hug his giraffe and D to hug his monkey! So much fun ahead!                      

We also just sent a package to America... they want it to be "parceled" and sewn around the box your stuff is in. After the sew it up, they you have to write the address with a sharpie on the material. Its so funny to me that India wants things to be all closed up to let you send, it, but I don't know if American customs likes having to go to more trouble to check the contents in customs. oh well.

We voted! We were proud citizens and turned our absentee ballots in at the US consulate and enjoyed the voting party there with mini burgers and sugar cookies with a flag painted on them! And of course they gave us a "I VOTED!" sticker. We even made the Indian news: If you would like to watch the clip click here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Court date!!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. We have our tickets to Ethiopia IN HAND! well, technically they are still on the computer, but I know my husband... He will print them out soon and put them in his travel folder with all the passports and documents needed for travel! We are still in a bit of shock at how FAST things have gone. We keep expecting something to be as long as what is projected... but so far things have just gone bam bam bam. WOOHOO! Our court date is Oct 31, and we head there on the 27th to start loving on them. We are so ready.... bring it on! I actually already have my baby backpack all packed with diapers, wipes, baby lotion and soap, clothes, medicines, and everything else I think we might need for a week with babies. I am excited to go out to the store today and get the stuff that we can bring to donate to the care center where our boys are! I love shopping and buying baby stuff has got to be some of my favorite things to buy! We also get to help some of the other older kids who are waiting on families and bring them so shoes and clothes. Thankfully we have a great market here where I can get them (fake) crocs for just under a dollar!
It is crazy to think in about two weeks, we will be loving on our little men! All I can do is just GIVE ALL THE PRAISE TO GOD! seriously! He has guided us step by step and have felt his leading us all the way. We are so looking forward to seeing the country where our boys were born (as well as seeing them). We love traveling to new places, and learning about their culture and trying new foods. We are so lucky that we have a quick flight from here to there... 5 hours no layovers! Thank you Ethiopian Air!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

reflections on one year...

So this last week marked our first year as a couple in South Asia! It has been a year of amazing cool opportunities and one marked with difficulties and struggles. We are so thankful to be settled in our place with friends and opportunities for service popping up all around us. Here are a few of my little favorite things about South Asia:

You can buy the "trial" size of ANYTHING! A ketchup packet size of shampoo for $0.05...  $0.10 worth of cookies or chips...one battery at a time. You name it, you can find is smaller.

Bottled water has become common, and a liter bottle is $0.30

I have a sewing machine and I bought extra bobbins for $0.10 and a pack of ten machine needles for $0.30! I was so impressed!

Many things can be delivered to your door Cash on Delivery. Never would have thought it was that cool until you realize you don't want to put your credit card number to a not so secure website... or all the American cards don't work right...  I can get meat, diapers, toys, books, eggs and bread!

We have learned that our car can fit in much tighter spaces than we ever imagined in America!

Conversations and Chai with friends are highly valued!

More than anyTHING that I like about South Asia, it is the people that I love the most! I see their faces and I feel such love and admiration for them... knowing how hard life can be for many people here, and yet they smile easily and laugh alot. They are also so giving and hospitable...

I love lots of things here, and although there are lots of things I miss about home, I find such peace in knowing that I am supposed to be here.  I miss running to Walmart or Target and being able to get 7 different items. Here, I might have to go to three different markets, and 10 stores to find the same 7 things I could find in Target! haha! Time is stretchable here and things go at a different pace than home, but I am learning to appreciate that! I rarely wear a watch, and no one seems to care if I am 15 minutes "late".

One of my highlights of this last year has been of course our PRECIOUS LITTLE MEN... and even though they are still waiting for us in ET, we show their pictures off proudly! I carry my ipad to church just to show off all the little pictures and we have been overwhelmed by the love that our friends have poured out over our babies~ Adoption is not a common practice here... and skin color is a big prejudice here and we were interested to see how our friends would respond to our little African boys. So far, everyone has just said such positive things about them and they ask about them all the time. I can only imagine how life is going to change with those little guys. They have already changed our world! When we go out shopping, I don't look at stuff for me anymore... I hang out in the baby section and imagine how cute they will look in green or brown or orange. And I am stocking up on diapers and bottles!

I am so grateful to have spent this past year here... and I look forward to what G has in store for us over the next however many years He has us live here!