Friday, June 27, 2008

B-days, Ultrasound and 1 yr adoption anniversary

This week Javi and I turned 33 and 32 (respectively). We agreed not to celebrate for a month until I am feeling better and we can do it right (like enjoy some chocolate cake or something :)). Well, today I went in for an ultrasound at 7 am and things appeared normal, although the tech could not tell me anything. Afterwards, Javi really wanted to go out for breakfast and by that time I was feeling up to it. We happened to go to Denny's because it was close and we didn't even think about it, but when we walked in, there was a sign that said "Free meal on your birthday" so he got a free meal. Oh, also our new niece in Dominican was born on my birthday - so it ended up to be a good week anyway.

Overall, my sickness has been better this week. It has not been as brutal most days and I even had one day that I did not get sick once. I think my fever breaking has helped. I am now 9 weeks, so I know I am not done with the sickness, but I am thankful for it being more manageable.

Still no adoption news. Today marks 1 year since we officially started this process (with Zambia). It looks like the earliest we will travel to Ethiopia now is November because the courts soon close down for rainy season. Some of my adoption friends who also started last year with Zambia and who are switching to Ethiopia, hope to travel then too, so hopefully we can travel together or meet up there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby 6, 7 or 8??

Well, you probably noticed the ticker to the right. Yes, we are expecting at the end of January. I have been very sick the last 2 weeks. I always throw up a lot with every pregnancy and am very tired, so this is nothing new, it is just terrible and it takes the joy away from sharing. I have also been struggling with a low fever for several days which I am a little concerned about. I know it is a "good sign" to be sick and I have been thankful for the down time. I don't think I have ever read so many books to my little ones. They see me laying around and bring me book after book. For that I am grateful for this "yucky" period. My mom has helped me out a lot and my parents are helping this week by taking and/or picking up my kids from Vacation Bible School every day and taking care of them some days since I can't really drive. Luckily yesterday I had a relatively "good" day for church and Father's Day - which was great.

You may remember that we found out we were pregnant in September and I contracted Dengue Fever on our trip to the Dominican Republic which caused me to miscarry. Well, that baby would have been born in May. May is when we got pregnant - so God gave us a sweet gift at a time that brought sad thoughts of what ifs . . .

So we are assuming we will bring our boys home first and that will make this baby #8. Woah! -From 5 kids to 8 kids in a matter of months. Actually with Charina, we will have added 4 kids to our family in a matter or months. Now you may understand my last post better. You see although we had fears about the timing of Charina coming to live with us, God was preparing for this pregnancy and weeks of sickness before we knew anything, by sending her to help us. His ways are much better than our ways.

The Lord has blessed us greatly indeed and we praise Him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

He sets the lonely in families

Wow - things have been going well with having Charina (Javier's 17 year old niece from the Dominican Republic) here. We have had to be stern on a few things, but she has been totally responsive. She has set jobs each day, as do all our kids, and she even helps more than that. We have had great talks about Christ, religion, managing money, marriage etc. She also opened up and shared a lot of things that have been grieving her about her mom and younger siblings. I just listened as tears welled up in my eyes and pain and anger filled my heart thinking that no child should have to deal with having nonexistant and abusive parents. She has felt the weight of being the "mom" and trying to protect her brothers and sisters and realizing that she can't do much. But oh thanks be to God that he will carry the burdens of those who are weary and heavy laden - His love abounds!

On a lighter note, she loves to tell our kids funny stories about Dominican and they love to hear every word. She loves to learn new praise songs in English and she sings around the house often. We have also been collecting applications for her to get a job. Then about 2 weeks ago, as we were rushing off to baseball practice with the whole crew, she said, " I am so happy." Then it was silent. I thought well, that is odd, I am feeling rushed and here she is happy. Then she said, "This is the first time I have felt like I am part of a real family." So praise Him! His word says that He sets the lonely in families and He has done just that. Please continue to pray for our adjustment. I am just so thankful that we trusted God and opened our doors to her even though we had a lot of fears and we will have hard times ahead. It is so wonderful to step out in faith and follow His lead. Is the Lord calling you to open your home to an orphan, sponsor some children, do missions overseas, mentor a young woman, "adopt" a widow down the street or volunteer at Crisis Pregnancy Center? Pray, fast, get out of your comfort zone and American dream and put your faith in action. Will you choose the safe road or the risky but abundant road for Christ?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A gleam of hope

Thank you for praying. We got an email with "Referral" at the top. We were sent pictures of the youngest boy siblings they have right now. They were just adorable and we just loved them, but they were not in the age range we had requested - infact, they were the same ages of 2 of our children . We struggled and prayed and stared at their pictures almost non-stop. At this point we decided it would be too much to have these ages and we needed to stick with our original request so that we have some age spacing in our family. This was so hard not to just think with our emotions, but just on Friday we had discussed our age perameters and Javi and I were very one minded about what we thought we could handle.

The great news is that maybe things will get rolling with a referral now. Wow - just on Friday I was told the referral probably wouldn't come until mid July at the earliest. We are thankful for your prayers and for our director who apparently spoke with the orphanage to get some action on our case. We continue to pray.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Adoption update - please pray

Many keep asking if our adoption is on hold or what is happening. No it is not on hold and yes we are still adopting 2 boys from Ethiopia. We have learned that waiting is just part of life with adoption.

Friday I spoke with our agency's director. I asked him why we did not have a referral yet since he told me a couple of months ago that the orphanage was overflowing with babies and children. I asked him if that was still the case. He told me that yes, in fact, just the other day the orphanage urged him to send in more files because they have so many babies. I was very confused that if there were plenty of babies/children and we were ready and waiting for an easy referral (most people want baby girls), then what was the hold up. He explained that this large orphanage works with several agencies and the French were complaining that the Americans were getting referrals quickly and they were having to wait 6 months (because of French rules). In an attempt to keep all of the agencies happy and essentially keep all of their "clients", they would make the American Agencies wait about 3 months. My director even said it does not make sense to make these kids wait in orphanages when there are families ready, but this is what the orphanage has decided and if they want to work with them this is just what we have to accept.

Sooo . . . . . our 3 month wait starts from when the papers were registered in Ethiopia which is around the end of April. Our director said to expect our referral around the middle to end of July. The bad news is that the courts close around the end of July and unfortunately it takes at least 1 month to get a court date after you accept the referral. This puts our case in court after they shut down for rainy season. They don't reopen until the end of September or the beginning of October. At that rate, we wouldn't be able to get our boys until November.

**Please pray with us that the Lord's mighty hand would move the orphanage to have mercy on us and give us a referral soon. The Lord is able to do far more than we can ask or imagine and we do not have because we do not ask, so we are asking the Lord to do something that only He can do. The last time we asked for prayer for our paperwork, our God used some amazing circumstances to bring them to us in lightening speed. We covet your prayers once again. By the way, the end of this month will mark one year that we started this adoption process. We are weary, but look forward with anticipation, knowing that He will carry us through.