Tuesday, January 27, 2009

While I'm Waiting and Adoption Announcement

The song While I’m Waiting by Jim Waller, was featured in the movie Fireproof, (which was a fantastic movie, by the way.) [It came out on video today. I suggest you buy a copy and watch it with your spouse. I think it’s safe to say that it will change your marriage and your life. It will be the best $20 you'll have spent in a long time.]
It’s so easy to take a song and fit it in to your situation, especially a Christian song. When I hear the song now, I can only think of myself. Selfish, I know. But in my defense, it is a self-centered song.

I'm waiting,
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

Well, God is working miracles again. For months now, I have been praying for Sammy's heart to change yet again so that we can adopt another child. (After Josi was to come home, we would still have had one more seat available in our family vehicle.) My heart has been in Ethiopia for a long time now. Really, ever since I was a little girl, I imagined travelling to Africa and bringing home a starving child. (I know now it’s not about me saving a child.) Since we lost Josi, my husband had agreed to one more son or daughter. He agreed that we should look here in the US. I was okay with that, but kept praying for his heart to soften for an Ethiopian child. Well it didn't take very long and not only did he say yes to Ethiopia, he said yes to TWO children.

So we have sent in our application to Children's House International and have begun the paperchase. We watched a DVD of waiting children and Sammy chose a little 7yo boy he would love to have as a son. (God is so good and so faithful. Thank you Jesus!!!) We are waiting on a little girl to become available so that we can bring home a daughter as well.

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

As we embark on this new adoption journey, I can’t help but wish I could just have my Josi back. When I think about all the work and preparation we have to do, I really just want to give up and quit. We literally have to start from scratch because our original homestudy is almost two-years old. (For Josi, we just had to do an update because last year everything in our homestudy was still current.) I hate having to think about telling everyone in our doctor’s office, and everyone else who doesn't know, what happened. I feel like a broken record sometimes, because it seems that everywhere we go, we run into someone who asks about Josi. And then when I tell them, they are so stunned and at such a loss for words, it becomes very awkward for the both of us. I can’t wait until everyone knows and then everyone will stop asking me when is our daughter coming home.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully,
I will wait
Yes, I will wait

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I am so scared that this isn’t really going to happen. In the meantime, we will move ahead bold and confident, taking every step in obedience.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Attempts at a family photo

We had to send in a family photo along with our application to adopt at the agency we hope to use. These are our attempts. Not too bad in that it one took us less than a 1/2 dozen tries.

Woops, this one was an accident. Robby is in his favorite kind of clothes. I've got to hide those holey pants with a kid.

This one looks good and would work, except that Shay doesn't look too happy. We'll try again.

Wait, mom isn't in this photo. And Robby is telling Shaybear to smile.

Almost perfect, except that Aubrey is looking the other way.

Aubrey is looking great, but now Shay isn't looking at the camera.

Finally, everyone is looking forward and smiling.
And you can't tell that Robby is wearing his "comfey" clothes.

Black Widows in January!
Black Widows are very much alive and well here in Southern California, even in January. This one was living in our patio furniture.
She was at least two-inches long.
Here she is after the "shoe squish." Don't want to squish too hard or else it will be a gooey mess that I will not clean up.
Check out the hour-glass on her belly.

Aubrey having a late-night waffle snack after a nice bath.

Oh how we love being a homeschool family.

Here is Haley doing her English, quite comfortably.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Thank You and an Update

I am so very far behind in answering everyone's emails, phone calls, cards and letters. I know that we are on all of your minds and hearts still; and we so much appreciate all of your prayers, condolences and well wishes. I cherish every blog post and "we're still praying for you" email. The connection I feel with all of you is so strong that I wish I could give you all a hug and say thank you personally.

We are all doing so much better. I still have hard days, but they are much easier than they were. There are mostly just hard moments throughout the day now. Anything can trigger them. In fact, I bet I could win an award for going through so many emotions in one day. I can go from peaceful to sobbing to pissed-off in about 10 seconds flat.

I am waiting on a package from Josi's attorney that contains some of Josi's favorite things: dolls, toys, clothes, etc. I CAN'T WAIT to get those. I just want to touch something that she touched, something that she loved and cherished. I want to hold her clothes and breathe them in. Maybe I will be able to smell her scent. It is hard to lose a child that you really never got to have and hold. But I know that it would have been so much harder if I had been given that pleasure. The pleasure I had, however, was to have been able to know her and love her for almost a whole year.

I will leave you with this video from my last visit.

Here is a glimpse of my Josi in all her sweetness.
Edited to add a beautiful poem that a blog reader left as a comment.
Thank you MoonDog!

I'll lend you for a little while a child of mine, God said.
For you to love the while she lives and mourn for when she's gone.
It may be one or seven years- or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you and should her stay be brief.
You'll have her lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.

I've looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love and not think the labor vain.
Nor hate me as I come to call to take her back again?

I fancied that I heard you say, "Dear God, Thy will be done.
For all the joy this child shall bring. The risk of grief I'll run".
I'll shelter her with tenderness. I'll love her while I may.
And for the happiness I've known. Forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for her much sooner than I'd planned.
I'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

by Edgar Guest

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Post, Finally

It has taken me so long to finally make our Christmas post. We all had a wonderful Christmas. It's the first time in a long time that so many of us were together. I didn't do that great with the camera this year, so I don't have a lot of opening-present pics.

This photo with Santa was taken the day before we heard about Josi's death. Notice Shay is not in the photo. He was holding onto my leg, SCREAMING, when I snapped the photo.

Christmas morning

Sammy, opening MY present!

My mom

My brother, Dino, hugging his oldest daughter, Sarah.

I love his shirt!!!

My nephew, Caleb.
My brother and his kids: Tony, Sarah, Joey, and Gina.

Late Christmas eve at our house; me, Aubrey, Sammy, Tony, Haley, Gina (wearing Shreck ears,) Sarah, Tina, Joey, and Dino.