Adoption on Hold

We received some very disappointing news from our social worker today. At this time we are not able to proceed with the adoption. The state of Illinois will not approve us because we do not make enough income.

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.

Referral-iversary . . . 2 Years Ago Today

Two years ago today the best phone call ever, "This is your referral call!

Showing my nieces the "new cousins"
Celebrating with our small group who we were privileged enough to walk through the process with:

To read the original post from two years ago, click here:

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!

Wordless Wednesday

Activity of the Week - Pumpkins

This fun project took us a couple days to complete.

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!)

Measuring the pumpkin (another good discussion on feet and inches)

Using a tape measure to check the circumference (we discussed what that word meant) and they are always so ready to smile for the camera!

Our completed graph:

Then we were on to the next pumpkin activity! I gave the boys a few drops of red and yellow finger paint on a paper plate (hadn't intended for this to be a color mixing activity but I had no orange finger paint - so bonus skill!) and they mixed them together to cover the whole plate.

Once the plates dried we traced and cut out different shapes to glue on for the eyes, nose, and mouth:

The one on the left would of course be my artist husband's, followed by mine, John's (whose idea it was to add the stem on the front), and Ryan's who wanted to make his pumpkin have ears like a bunny, hence the two stems!

Lots of math and creative skills with this fun activity!

God's Plan A for Mike and Amy continues . . .

So what do we do now?

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

Spiritual Conversations from a 5 and 6 Year Old

Here's part of a conversation from the back seat of the car. It stemmed from having driven by my Gramma's house. My Gramma went to be with Jesus this March.

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.

Activity of the Week

We have spent some time working with colors this past week. Ryan is still practicing at mastering them and John has been asking which colors mixed together make which other colors.

So we traced six small circles on paper. Then in each of the circles I added drops of paint: 1 - red, 2 - red and yellow, 3 - yellow, 4 - yellow and blue, 5 - blue, 6 - blue and red. Then I gave them six q-tips which they used to fill in each circle with paint. We commented on what was happened to the different colors as they mixed together and formed a new color.

The finished product:

The this idea came from a list of classroom sensory bottle ideas (if anyone is interested in a copy of the list, let me know or leave your email and I'll send you a copy!). In each bottle add water, a couple drops of dish soap, and food coloring - then shake for suds. The boys LOVE them!! And insisted i make a white bottle too: