Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Josi's Case and September Recap.

Here we are at the end of September already. I can't believe the year is almost over. It's already autumn. Gosh, it feels like yesterday summer had just begun.

I was contemplating whether or not to make a blog post without news of our case; but I decided to anyway. So just as I was uploading pics for this post, I got news. Unfortunately, not the news I was waiting for. The PGN has decided to give us another previo, (another kick-out,) this time for an illegible mark on our PA, (Pre-Approval from the US Embassy.) After I pulled myself together and said a prayer for patience and understanding, I am back finishing up my September Recap post. Anyway, our attorney has to get a new copy of our PA, have it translated, and then resubmit us to the PGN. We were really wanting her home by Christmas. Now, that is not possible. I do know that God our Father is in control of all things, and he has his reasons and timing beyond our understanding. My faith is in Him.

(This is a photo of Josi back in March.)

Last week, I was looking up airfare prices to Guatemala, (I do that quite often.) and stumbled upon a great fare, $319 round-trip , including tax. I didn't even have to beg, and Sammy said I could go! So I did it! I booked the flight to visit Josi. And... I'm going to bring little Sammy too. I am so excited! I wish so badly, especially now that we got another kick-out, that I could bring the rest of the gang; but it would just be too expensive. So I have rounded up Robby and the girls to watch Shay for the Friday and Monday that I will be gone, while daddy is at work. I am VERY nervous about leaving Shay. I have never left him overnight since he's been home. I do believe it will be a lot harder on me than it will be on him. He's going feel like he died and gone to heaven for four days without mean ole mommy telling him no every five minutes. I'm still not sure if this was the best idea; but I can't help it, I need to see my little girl again. It's been over six months since I've seen her and held her hand.

I did get to visit with Josi via Skype last week. It was the best visit yet. It is very hard to communicate with her, but there's not much to say to each other when she is singing and dancing for me. That is a language we can both understand. She was all dressed up in her princessa dress and singing a beautiful song to me in Spanish. She was also singing me songs in English. My girls knew the songs and were singing along with her. Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers' songs. I figure when she comes home, if she can't understand us, we can communicate through song. I can't get over this 5yo little girl singing songs that my girls know. Amazing.
She is amazing!
I am heartbroken that she won't be home for Christmas!!!
(This is a photo of Josi back in March.)

I got a new picture of our sponsored child, Mesfin. This is a photo of him taken in August. I can't believe how much healthier and happier he is looking as compared to the first couple of photos that I received of him. He has his arms wide open, and looks like he is waiting to welcome someone. I cannot help but see Jesus in this precious child. I looked up the meaning of his name, Mesfin Berhanu. Mesfin means *prince* or *duke*, and Berhanu means *guiding light.* This child may not be considered a prince in this world, but he is just as much as a prince as I am a princess to the King of Kings, our Heavenly Father.
I have fallen for this prince.

Here is Sammy and Caleb dressing up as explorers. The kids play this game called "Nigel Camp." It is a camp set up for young children that need to become more brave. The parents bring their timid children to this "Nigel Camp." The camp teaches the children survival skills and how to wrestle with tigers and other jungle animals. Aubrey is the instructor and Haley is the fierce Tiger. My kids have such vivid imaginations.

Here we are one evening eating out.
"Eating out" meaning eating out on our back patio.

I got out-voted. Sammy got his hair cut SHORT. This is one of the snapshots just before I took him in.

Here he is after the buzzer. He wanted spikes. So we obliged. Now he wants us to call him Spike. We obliged... again. (He has no shirt on because he was so itchy from all the hairs in his shirt.) It seems like his eyes got bigger and he grew two inches in height. Amazing what a haircut will do. I can't wait until it grows back in.

Shay, being his cute self. It doesn't matter what this child does. He is just cute. He's even cute when he's throwing a tantrum... honest.

Aubrey had 6 teeth pulled in two-weeks time. They were all baby teeth. We are preparing for major orthodontia work here.

Haley got braces on her front top teeth. She was so excited, until she felt the pain. Now she is wanting to do a "do over" and take it back.

Here are the girls being goofy.

Aubrey pretending to be mad.

Sweet Aubrey, she can never keep a straight face.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sammy Unplugged

Sammy saw a little guitar at a garage sale and had to have it. He's been strumming away, and singing, ever since.

The other day, I made reservations at a campsite for our family and for our family friends. They have a 9yo little girl who Sammy just adores, (did I mention he was girl crazy already?) Anyway here's a song about Janelle and him camping. (He is singing both about the river and the KOA campsite we go to. When he says "layer bike," he means the recumbant bikes that you rent at the KOA.)

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on pause to turn of the music.

Sammy is singing his River Blues song here.Can you tell he likes to go camping?

No more camping songs. Now he's singing about Pluto on the Mickey Mouse Christmas special.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday... Meet Mesfin

This little guy is Mesfin. He is around six years old and lives in an orphanage in Ethiopia. Both of his parents have died, and the distant relative that was caring for him, is no longer able. She brought him to the orphanage because she had heard it was Evangelical and wants him to be adopted by a Christian family.

We are sponsoring Mesfin through Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries . Because orphaned children are close to my heart, I specifically asked for an orphan to sponsor. The neatest thing about this sponsorship program is that we can actually send our sponsored-child packages; and they encourage a relationship with them. The photo below is one of the outfits we sent Mesfin. He said his favorite thing to do was play soccer, so we sent him his very own soccer ball along with three shirts with soccer balls on them and money for some new shoes.

We are so happy to be helping this child. I pray that we can continue to sponsor Mesfin until God leads him to his forever family.

Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil. James 1:27 (Contemporary English Version)
I have posted this video before, but I will post it again for anyone who may have missed it. The statistics for orphans in this world is staggering. We can do something to help. Would you consider sponsoring a child? We pay $30 a month to provide for Mesfin's needs. Really, to us here in the U.S., $30 a month is nothing. How many of you spend that at Starbucks in a week? (I admit, I have been guilty of spending that much at Starbucks in a week's time.)
"Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." Matthew 25:40 (Contemporary English Version)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grandma Marlene's Vist.

Sammy's mom came to visit us from Texas. We all had a great time. It was Grandma's first time seeing Shay, and it was love at first sight for the both of them. Sammy hadn't seen Grandma since he was two, but they picked up right where they left off.

Grandma got the girls a sewing machine and tought them the basics. They have been little seamstresses since. Haley is already making doll clothes and Aubrey has been busy patching holes in all their beanie babies.

Dr. Sammy working on his two sick patients. You can tell how concerned Shay is about his sick Grandma. He wouldn't take his hand off of her.

"Don't... let... go... Grandma"

Shots always make you better.

Grandma played LOTS of fun games with the kids.

Grandma, you look like your having so much fun!

Besides everyone wanting Grandma to themselves, we all had a great time. We only wished she could stay longer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why Can't it be This Easy?

I am convinced that there would be so many more orphaned children finding homes if it were actually this way. (Read Accidental Adoption below.) I can speak from experience when I say that three of our four children were not planned--they were what I like to call *accidental blessings.* Did we turn them away when we found out?... not a chance. Were we scared or worried?... absolutely. Did we say, "Oh my gosh... How are we going to do this?"... yep. Did we run to the nearest abortion clinic?... of course we didn't. That would be absurd. Why on earth would we want to destroy a life. My dad always said "if you wait until your ready to have a child, you'll never have one." Isn't that the truth.

An Accidental Adoption

Note: Those of you who haven't adopted internationally probably won't get this. Trust me, though, it's very funny! I found this on my friend Rachel's blog.

Have you ever noticed that you hear all the time about "accidental" pregnancies, but never about couples who experience "accidental" adoptions? Can you imagine: Honey, sit down. I have some news for you. What is it? Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it... I went out to the mailbox today and... well, we got an I171H. A WHAT?!? An I-171H? As in, we're going to have another child?!? It looks that way. But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I600A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update? Of course I did! But don't forget, there was that one night... What night? (Pauses) Ohhh, that night! But it was only once and we were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (Pauses again) But it was kind of fun. (Giggles) It was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints. So now we've got our I-171H, eh? But that doesn't mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure that everything is okay? I already did....AND? I'm five documents along. Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay? Just great. There was that one small scare when the agency couldn't see the notary's middle initial, but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass. Thank goodness. And you, honey? Are you feeling okay? I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you are happy about this. Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always been a shock at first when something like this happens, but of course I'm happy!

Hey, a girl can dream...