Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Little Side Note and something on RUNNING!

I am probably breaking every rule of blogging by combining my adoption blog with my regular, write about life blog, BUT it is hard to separate because in my world, there is no separation. My days consist of the regular- raising kids, homeschooling, reading books, cooking meals, running, AND my days consist of the constant thought running through my head, "we are adopting a little boy, what do I need to do..."A list goes through my head, prayers are raised for this little man we long to bring home, and I go back to life, normal, here life. It all happens as I change diapers and vacuum floors and move about my day. Hamilton has become a part of our world already as my children make remarks... David says, "I miss Hami, I hope he is having a good day at his house today." and Verity with every picture she makes, "This one is for Hami, he is my BEST friend!" They recognize his picture and we pray for him as a family. It has become part of our world, HE has become part of us already, so maybe it seems strange to me to separate him from this blog, this little part of my world, because he is so much already a part of the rest of my world. AND all these things, the regular life, the adoption stuff, it all involves loads and loads of coffee and imagining I can sit and share it with friends at a coffee shop (Hence the Cafe au Mommy)-- the coffee shop is preferably on a cobblestone street somewhere in Paris!

Anyways, this post is supposed to not be about adoption because like I said life is still going here. One of the things I have been SO thankful for lately is the ability to run. I am certain I have more of an appreciation for it since not being able to run for over a year. I am also thankful for the community that it provides. There is something about running with other women before the sun comes up in freezing cold weather with no make up on and sweating and suffering together that provides a bond like no other. This morning it took everything in me to get up and run. I was actually texting my friend to cancel when another friend texted to say she wanted to join us. I thought, no way can I let them suffer alone, so I deleted my text and said, "Yes, we are running! Come!" That was at nine o'clock last night, we were a half an hour from home and had to still drive home and get kids ready for bed. It was after eleven thirty when I laid down to sleep, my alarm set for 5:30 in the morning. At 5:33, one of the women again texted to say she was skipping, the radar looked like rain. But at this point I was already up and my other friend was meeting me, so I got on my running clothes and drove to our meeting point, hoping if it did do something it would at least snow. Oh, where did the 75 degree sunny days of last weekend go! It is snowing and sleeting and freezing today! The wind was cold, the air was cold. But we met to run. And as we were getting ready to run we saw another woman running by herself. Someone my friend knew. She yelled, "Hey, want to join us?!?!" "Sure," she said. And off we went. And for the next forty minutes in the dark and freezing cold we rain. And I got to know this other mom in my city. We ran on dark, now becoming familiar paths. The kind that are actually more familiar in the dark than the day because that is when I see them the most. And the three of us talked about being moms and running and life. When I got home and had gotten everyone breakfast, made pumpkin bread, taken out the garbage and drunk some coffee I went in and woke up my husband and said, it is eight o'clock and I have run 4.5 miles, made pumpkin bread, fed kids, taken out the garbage AND already made a new friend, what a great start to a day. I had another friend comment how I already know way more people than she does in town. And I thought, it is because I run. There is something SO great about the community of runners. And I am SO thankful for all my running friends, new and old!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Paperwork, a Quilt, a Fundraiser, and THANK YOU!

I feel a HUGE sense of relief as we finished a stack of paperwork. Paperwork that involves twenty-one pages of questions for Nathan and me each. Questions asking about everything from how we discipline to who our favorite teacher was growing up. It is amazing the amount of information they need to see if we are fit to adopt this little boy. Information that no one requested before we had any children of our own. We finished it all. We requested letters from doctors and transcripts; we were fingerprinted and have gotten passports. It has taken hours of work, and we are only at the beginning.

We have been so blessed by friends, acquaintances and family that have helped so far. Over the past two months, we have had people give over six thousand dollars toward our efforts to bring Hamilton home. We have a long ways to go, though.

One of the fundraisers we are starting is a quilt fundraiser. I am working with a friend to make a signature quilt. For each person who donates $10 or more, we will sign your name on the quilt. We think this will be great "welcome home" present for this little man. Every night, he will go to bed covered in a warm blanket that reminds him of the many people who helped rescue him and give him a safe and loving home.

There are lots of people who have already given more than ten dollars. We will put their names on the quilt, but we would love to put lots more. This quilt will have all the names of people who have worked together to bring Hamilton home. Ten dollars is not a lot, but if only three thousand people gave ten dollars, or fifteen hundred people gave twenty, we would have our goal. A lot of people giving a little can make a REALLY big difference in the life of one person.

We are so thankful for all who have prayed and helped so far! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I am not going to change the world...

I am not going to change the whole world or fix all the problems of all children. 
But maybe I am going to change the whole world for this one child.

Maybe I can do that. 

I hear a voice in my head frequently, "How can you just pick him? There are so many kids right here that need homes and families. There are children all around the world that are hungry and sick, children that do not have warm clothes and live on the street or have been sold into slavery." It's true. It happens and it breaks my heart. Sometimes I think it is just too much. 

How can I even try to make a difference because one person is not going to change the whole world. 

But, one person can maybe change the whole world for one child.

Is that enough? I do not know. But there are people changing the world for one person or two people or more. People who are being brave and stepping out of their comfortable worlds to actually make a change in the world of someone. People like Katie who, at the age of 22, has adopted 13 daughters. She is living out what Christ has called us to do. She may not feel brave, but taking steps of faith take courage. Or people like Lee Jong rak who built a dropbox because he knows life is precious, and he could not stand by and say it is too much. 

There are people adopting ten or twelve children with special needs. Children that the world has said are worthless. Children that are PRECIOUS to God. Children that need a family to love them.

Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you,whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

"ONE of the least of these..." 

We are not going to change the whole world. I cannot change the world by myself. But maybe I can change the world for this one child.

A video worth watching...

Friday, March 8, 2013


Five Minute Friday is when you spend five minutes writing on a word (Lisa Jo Baker gives a word each Friday) and lots of people write their thoughts on that one word. The Rules are... you write for five minutes without editing, and then publish it. And then you absolutely comment on the person before you who wrote.  So here is today's...


Talking last night, we share the hopes for our children, the ones we dream about with faces that are clear. Our hearts long to hold them, but we know it could be a year or more before they are held. And we hope maybe just months. We talk about home. I realize as I speak, that my little boy, the one I dream about at night, may not even know what a home is. He may not know what a mom is. Is that possible? Does he not know what he is missing or even know that a home is normal. And my heart aches more, and fear creeps in just a little wondering if he will want me as much as I want him. I know it will be a struggle and home will become a new home as faces change and life changes. But home is where my family is. Years of moving and life changes, I have always known that home is where they are, the ones I love. And I cannot wait to share with him what home is, to make our home his home.
"I wish he was here now," David says.
"Me too," we all whisper.
Watching over and over the few minutes of video we have, wondering, praying for this child. The one we want to bring home.
I know they want him as much as I do.
We want him to know home.
I am thankful for a home, for a family to love and cherish, to laugh and hold.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Time for Fasting and a Time for Feasting!

I am seeing the world differently these days. I have been on several mission trips to countries with severe poverty. I have seen children in need of food and homes. I have even seen it in this country, in the mountains of Appalachia. I went, I lived that life for a week or two or a month, and I swore, I would be changed. I was certain I could never go back to the way I lived. I never lived an extravagant life, but I did not go through my day being thankful for what I had. I take for granted clean water and running water and heat and air conditioning. I take for granted being able to run to the store and get what I need or just what I want. I quickly forgot.

But now these days, each night when I lay down I think about this little boy on the other side of the world that does not have these luxuries and suddenly it all seems so personal. It hits my stomach as my two year old asks for the one hundredth time this morning, "Mommy please hold me; I just want you!" And I wonder if he has thought how much he wishes someone would just hold him. I wonder if I added up all the times I have held my little two year old in the past two years if it would even come close to how many times in his six has he missed out. I think, as I ask my children what kind of cereal they want this morning, what it will be like to ask him what I can make him for breakfast. And I know he may have no idea what I am asking. And if he does, I might offer him ice cream for every meal because six years is a lot of years to have missed out on ice cream.

The other day my  mom was visiting. My children LOVE their grandma. My Karis gets so excited that sometimes it is enough to make a person run in the other direction. I sat her down for a two minute talk about how it can be a bit overwhelming. She looked at me with big eyes and said, "But MOM, she is HERE!!!" It made me think of the verse in Matthew where Jesus talks about why his disciples are not fasting, but are feasting: "Then the disciples of John came to him saying, 'Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?' And Jesus said to them, 'Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from then, and they will fast.'" (Matthew 9:13-15)

There is a time for feasting and a time for fasting.

The church calendar is full of feast days and fasting days, times of celebrating, and times of self-discipline and waiting. Karis was celebrating while her Grandma was here, how could she control herself, there was a time for self control, but this was not the time. And it is now Lent, a time of fasting and waiting, waiting for the rejoicing at Easter, a time of celebration. And now I think about this little boy around the world. As we wait, it is a time of fasting, of seeking God's grace and mercy. There will be a time of feasting and celebrating when he comes home, but for now we wait.
And in the waiting in and the fasting, I think of the blessings I have.

90. Sunshine and longer days that bring promises of Spring.
91. Spring that promises of new life.
92. The smell of air kissed by the sun, coming in my windows.
93. The song of two year old sung with all the gusto in the world.
94.  A little boy whose eyes fill with tears, after he has insulted my dinner because his heart is so big he cannot bear to hurt his mamas feelings
95. The little words whispered in my ear, words of love or fears or secrets.
96. Friends that speak words of encouragement without worry of how they will look if they say something good about someone else.
97. Watching my daughter learn a new song on the piano
98. A day spent with a little girl shopping and holding hands, knowing that soon she will not want me with her but for now I am probably one of her favorite people to have there.
99. Running on a Sunday afternoon with new friends that feel like old!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Treasuring the Ordinary

Five Minute Friday is when you spend five minutes writing on a word (Lisa Jo Baker gives a word each Friday) and lots of people write their thoughts on that one word. The Rules are... you write for five minutes without editing, and then publish it. And then you absolutely comment on the person before you who wrote.  So here is today's...



Ordinary, it is a scary word for me. Who wants to be ordinary? I remember a mom at church telling me all she wanted for her kids was that they live an ordinary life. It would be so much simpler for them. She did not want anything fancy or great for them or anything really horrible, just an ordinary life. I struggled with this because as a mom, I honestly wanted something fantastic for my children. I am the mom who wants my kids to not just do gymnastics, but to be on the Olympic team. I was pretty sure there were signs when my daughter danced that she was meant for a great ballet company. I could not imagine wanting something ordinary. All I could see was them with this awe of a mother, the kind that things there could be nothing greater than these children and the world MUST see them. But then I started to think about ordinary and normal. The odds are my kids are not joining the Olympics or the New York City Ballet. They probably will not even do any of the sports they do now in five years. They are young and learning and trying new things. But, thinking about it now, I can see the good of the ordinary. They have the chance to be excellent in the ordinary, to be satisfied and content in the day to day. These are the moments that matter, the ordinary ones, the ones that are not fancy or special, but the everyday moments when lives are changed, and children changed. These moments are the ones that win hearts. I am learning to enjoy and treasure the ordinary moments because when they grow up they won’t be that ordinary, they will be treasured special moments. The ordinary cuddles that start the day and the ordinary books that we read over and over, those are the moments that make memories and set foundations.