So we put up our new world map and got ready to send our first two post cards - one to Taiwan and one to Poland. We then received two post cards from Michigan and Germany. We sent another to the Netherlands and are waiting to see where our next post card will come from!
This site has been great fun! Postcards are pretty cheap (we bought some at Jewel for 33 cents) and it has cost 98 cents to mail each card internationally. And who doesn't like getting fun mail!
Every once in a while, Ryan will say he dreamed he was playing Mario Kart too.
So when I overheard him say to Mike this weekend, "I had a dream," I expected it to be about Mario Kart. But instead, Ryan continues, "There were seven skinny cows and they ate the seven fat cows." It seriously was all I could do to contain myself!!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
trust: to place confidence, depend, hope, entrust, to rely on, a practical willingness to let God hold me
Do not let you hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust. Psalm 40:4a
Is anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14
Those who hope (trust in God's power, patience in His timing) in the Lord will renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31
I am thankful for the Lord and His word. I am thankful for friends and family who are and who have been praying for us. I am thankful from so many from my Yahoo Group who have walked the path of adoption who have offered their encouragement and support. I am thankful for the two amazing boys the Lord had blessed us with.
I have been asking God for wisdom and revelation in all this. Should I hold on to the dream of another adoption or let it go? Are you calling us to adopt again Lord and should I begin fundraising? Or is our family complete? I have not felt an answer either way, simply the need to wait. i have struggled. Why did You call us Lord to step out when You knew our path would be blocked right away? So next I prayed for the Lord to give Mike revelation as to what to do! No answer that way either. I have beseeched the Lord - tell me what to do and I'll do it!!
Yesterday as I read in Numbers 9 of the Israelites moving through the desert, following the Lord who was in the form of a cloud, I finally got it - God's revelation is for me to wait - to wait for His cloud to move:
Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. Numbers 9:17-23
I will be beginning a part time job in a few weeks and her advice is to wait a year so that we are able to prove a greater income.
Please pray for us. This is a setback I never saw coming and we are all disappointed. Please pray for help believing that in ALL THINGS God works good for those who love Him.
Showing my nieces the "new cousins"
Celebrating with our small group who we were privileged enough to walk through the process with:
So tonight at dinner, we retold the story of the phone call and Mommy coming home to wake Daddy up to tell him it was referral day and how we saw their pictures for the first time and we didn't know who they were until that day and how we went and showed the pictures to Gramma and Bompa, Aunt Sarah and Uncle Ken, Uncle Don, and how we asked Sami and Maddy if they wanted to see pictures of the "new cousins" and how Sami just jumped up and down saying yes (her excitement seriously paralled mine!) and how we came back home and our small group was here with balloons and flowers and we drank a toast of Champaign in their honor and praised God for His blessings to us and how we were so happy!
We began with four small pumpkins and used them to by complete a chart of their weight, height, and circumference. Before finding each actual measurement, I had the boys make a prediction. We predicted each pumpkin one at a time so they were able to make a prediction in comparison to what they already knew (I helped a little with this concept). For example, pumpkin 2 was smaller than pumpkin 1 so it was going to weigh less and not be as tell.
Holding the pumpkins before guessing a weight:
Setting the pumpkin on the kitchen scale (good discussion on pounds and ounces!)
Lots of math and creative skills with this fun activity!
This is a question I have asked myself since coming home from Ethiopia in February 2010. Having been through the international adoption process, having traveled half way around the world, having seen a humble people poor in material possessions but so rich in love, knowing there are more orphans . . . what do I do now?
We have not felt called to begin an orphan ministry or another kind of support system in cooperation with groups in Ethiopia as some have (more info about some GREAT organizations in future posts). But what do I do?
I love the boys, help them adjust to life in our home, delight that they are happy and healthy. But what do I do?
It is a question that has haunted me. Until Now - until 2 weeks ago when we attended an adoption conference in Indianapolis, Indiana hosted by MLJ Adoptions. We knew we would come home having heard some great information and with great resources. We did not anticipate hearing from God in the way we did. We did not anticipate being shown why the door to beginning an adoption from China had been temporarily closed to us seven weeks ago. We did not anticipate God speaking to our hearts and saying, "Give me everything and follow hard after me!" (okay, that is what I'm supposed to do!) We did not anticipate getting crazy with God - but that is what we are doing!
We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have been accepted into one of MLJ Adoptions program!! God is leading us to adopt again!! We are requesting siblings, either gender aged 0-4 years old. However, a sibling referral is rare, so our single child request would be for a child, either gender aged 0-2 years old. I am still in awe of all God has planned for us as I type the above sentence!!
I never would have anticipated . . . but God knew and I am blessed because of it.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Ryan: Great Gramma is dead.
John: She's alive. (This exchange went back and forth a few times before John added) She's in heaven. (slight pause) Why can't we all just die right now and go to heaven?
(Now John will frequently ask rather deep spiritual questions and is truly interested in the answer, so I jumped in at this point.
Mommy: Because each of us has our purpose to fill here on earth.
Ryan: That's right. You buy it you break it!
John: No Ryan, You break it you buy it. (Again, this exchange went back and forth a few times before John states) I'm not having this argument anymore.
Ryan: Me neither. I'm not having this argument.
Here's Mr. Bones:
and the Fierce Knight:
I have some number mats from when I taught preschool. They contain from 4 to 6 numbers and range from easy (1-4) to more challenging (includes numbers up to 12). Then I give the boys counters, which can be anything from plastic beads to fun food items (we used goldfish, mini marshmallows, fruit loops, and chocolate chips). They must count and place the correct number of counters in each square before enjoying their yummy snack. The boys LOVED this activity and asked to do it a second time when they finished. This activity works on counting, one to one correspondence, and number identification (sorry, the teacher in me needs to add all the skills they were working on as they had fun and didn't even realize it!)
Hope you have as much fun as we did!
New outfit for the first day back:
And not to be outdone by his brother, also a "posing" picture:
First day of school new outfit:
(do you kind of get the sense he loves posing for the camera?)
Incidentally, now that the boys have been home 18 months - the time frame our international agency America World requires parents adopting children over the age of three to wait - we can think about starting the process over again!! Hmmmm . . . . .
On the back of each piece is the initials of the person who "sponsored" it - that way whenever we do the puzzle, we'll remember all your generosity!