Monday, February 28, 2011

Nice Knowing You

  I'm a wreck!  I started RN to BSN online college classes today and I'm totally trippin.  Really, I feel like the old lady in the college class who is freaked out and asking the professor 101 questions while everyone else is ready to go.  My classes are all condensed modules, online, and it is tough for me to figure out how to navigate them.  Last time I was in college, I registered by showing up to the gym, walking from class label to class, signing up on paper and so forth. 
I'm feeling so overwhelmed and if I hadn't told the world about my ambitions(let's face it--if I hadn't just bought a new lap-top!), I'd probably change my mind immediately.  It really is sickening to think of my 5yrs in college and coming out with only an associates degree.  Yes, I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I keep thinking that this bridge program is only 13months.  I can do anything for 13months right?  Ohhhhh, but I'm sleepy and what about my kids?  What kind of mommy and wife will I be?  What about the orphan ministry I'm launching at our church?  I don't know about all this...

But, then there is this
That is me, trying to figure out what is wrong with a very malnourished and sick old lady in the jungle in Haiti.  I was begging God to give me the right meds for her.  I came home knowing that I needed to go to school;  to give myself the tools to be more useful. 

I'd be a fool to turn down a free education.  So, I may not be blogging much.  Nice knowing you all.  I love blogging and, hopefully, there will be time when I get the hang of this.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old photos make me smile :)

Couldn't stand having a downer post up. So before I run to do my 2 million errands I thought I'd put up a smiley kind of post.  The sun is peeking out, Mike flies home late tonight, payday is 2 days away, crazy little caveman is at the sitter for a few hours, Carter tests for his driver's permit, and March is next week!!  Life is AWESOME.  I speak at a ladies' conference next Saturday in Abilene.  My topic is Living A Life of Purpose.  Instead of what I had planned to say, I wish I could just show this sermon by Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church.  He spoke at Gateway this past Sunday on living out your purpose and it was five hundred times better than what I could do.  If you are interested in watching, clickPURPOSE

I have wanted to show you guys some old photos.  I know the quality is terrible, but I didn't feel like driving to a scanner(will though soon cause they are yellowing).  Mike has my nice camera in D.C. on the school 8th grade trip.  So, I took pics of old pics with my iPhone. 

Here we are at Mike's sister's wedding in 1996.  Carter was 6 weeks old.  He was
gorgeous!!  I look 15!!  I was 23.  It seems like another lifetime.  Dang, Mike is handsome and Carter is looking just like him

I took this picture the minute we met Abby. We were at Eastern Social Welfare Society in Seoul. She leaned to him and smiled(tried to anyway, her cheeks were so fat it was hard to smile!). What a precious memory of our lives being turned upside down.

Here are Carter and Abby the first night home.  The blue puppy in the foreground was a toy sent from her foster family.  She's kind of looking at me like "Who is this kid and how in the ___ did I get here?"

 And, here is my precious little angel Dillon.  This is his referral picture at 8 weeks, taken the day he was leaving the babies' hospital and headed for his foster family's home.  Those eyes seared into my heart when I saw them. 
Anyone out there find they are hard-hearted about the 147million orphans in the world??  Just look at those eyes.  Can't turn away and drive your $50,000 vehicle and pretend they don't really exist anymore can ya???

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When grief slaps you across the face

I was working on a post with some really cute old pics of the kids--the ones that predate blogging.  Then, something weird happened a few hours ago.  I was talking on the phone to a friend who is newly(and very surpisingly) pregnant.  She's had some struggles with her female parts before and was guarding her heart against getting excited so early along.  I completely understand.  I said "But you know what I regret the most about my miscarriage this summer?" ......
Lump in throat


Voice cracked

Face got hot and red


What the heck?  The grief swooped in out of nowhere and slapped me right across the face!

"I regret not enjoying the moment.  I just knew things were going to turn out badly, and I was negative from day one.  If I could do it over, I would enjoy the moment and let myself feel excited."

There ya have it, the raw and ugly truth.  I still have struggles with guilt.  I sometimes feel like I killed the baby with my negativity.  Stupid and ludicrous--I know, heck, I'm a medical professional for Pete's sake. That's the thing with grief though.  Sometimes you deal with it, no problems, cruising right along.  Last Sunday I co-hosted a baby shower for a lady at church who happens to be due on what my due date was, March 17th.  I was fine then.  Weird huh?   Want to know what else is weird?  I'm so glad I'm not about to have a baby.  Sounds crude, but I think I would have a nervous break down.  One learning to drive, one learning to not pee his pants, two in between.  No sir, a newborn is NOT what this family needs.  And yet, the sight of preggo bellies makes my heart tighten up a bit.

 Maybe I'm losing my sanity and sense of balance?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2 years ago an email changed our family

Often divine moments look like inconveniences on the front end—Erwin Raphael McManus

Two years ago tonight, Mike and I read an email that our adoption agency, Dillon International, sent out.  There was a 15months old baby boy in Seoul Korea who needed a family.  When I read it, my heart beat really fast.  He sounded like a perfect match for our family.  Of course, it was nuts.  We had 3 kids, I work, Mike's job is demanding, our youngest was in kindergarten, has some special needs, but was becoming more self-sufficient.  A toddler thrown in would certainly be challenging.  Then there's the money issue.We had nowhere near what we would need to start from scratch adopting internationally, not to mention daycare costs.  It would certainly set us way back in retirement type goals. 

But alas, the little boy was ours.  God doesn't care about all the logical reasons not to do something a little nuts.  That week was so so so stressful , as we prayed and perused over his referral and medical papers.  He had some medical and background risks.  Yet, in my heart I knew he was perfect.  We really couldn't discuss with people what we were considering.  We begged God to make it super clear what His will was--yes or no.  10 days later, I called our social worker at Dillon and said YES.  It was an amazing journey and God provided faithfully.  We got a very generous grant from the Dillon Building Families Fund and many people donated to our adoption journey(even people we'd never met) we hope to continue to donate generously back so that other families can have their dreams come true.

The past 2 years have been pretty wild and really sweet watching him flourish and our hearts fall in love with the chubby cheeked boy we stared at in pictures, but didn't know.
I found this picture on my old phone.  We are sitting in the airport in Korea.  He was a terrified little man not understanding anything that was happening.(side note, oh my, I'm looking so wrinkled, anybody recommend a good anti-wrinkle cream?)

Hudson has adjusted great.  He is so unlike our other kids.  He is loud, rough and tumble, drinks his sippy with a vengenance and makes a loud "ahhh" sound when the last drop is gone.  He is totally obsessed with Thomas the Tank and knows all the engines names.  He loves church nursery, can skip, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday.  He naps 2 hours everyday--but when he's awake--it's 90mph!  At night time when we put him to bed he says "I love you too, I love you best" in his sing-songy voice.

In honor of Hudson Lee, I encourage all of you to JUMP IN!  If God has presented a crazy opportunity that doesn't make sense on paper--JUMP IN!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ministry of Construction

Our school is building a new secondary building.  Since it is a private Christian school, we are using this time for blessing!  A contractor developed the program and showed our school's leadership how to run the ministry.  Great idea huh?   Use the 12months of construction interacting with and blessing the site workers.  Totally brilliant.  How many times do churches and schools build new buildings and completely ignore the  workers?  Sad huh?  My dear friend, Susie, heads up the ministry.  Once a month she hosts a luncheon at the site and people donate food.  Today was Taco Soup and cornbread--Yummmmy.  We give away Spanish and English Bibles and even have little door prizes like tape measures, caps,gloves.  We pray for the workers and hope to impact their lives for Christ.

And, in other news:  we got the results of Dillon's EEG today and they are normal!!  Praise God.  I did NOT want him to have a seizure disorder. I guess we will just watch him like a hawk when he is sick.

Oh, and PS to my sweet new Korean-adoption email friend whose name starts with "M"--did you get my email back a few days ago?  I sent it but that account acts strange.  It looks to me like my reply is still sitting there.  I didn't want to resend it and you think I'm a crazy stalker ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quote for the week

I start classes on Feb 28th so I'm cramming everything I want and need to a few books, finish painting my kitchen, finish my speech for the Ladies Conference I'm speaking at in Abilene in 3 weeks.  I'm rereading Radical by David Platt(for the 3rd time).  Here is a quote for you to ponder this week
    God delights in using ordinary Christians who come to the end of themselves and choose to trust in his extraordinary provision.  He stands ready to allocate his power to all who are radically dependent on him and radically devoted to making much of him.

Know why I love that so much??  Cause I am oh so ordinary!!! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

We are lame Valentines Day people!  Always have been.  Personally, I think it is a ripoff dreamed up, and pushed on us, by big stores.  So, we don't do big gifts and such--and especially not for the kids.  But, I do want to take this opportunity to tell my man that he is special. 
   Mike--God brought you to me, ordained from the beginning of time--we were supposed to be together!  You are gorgeous, smart, funny, hard-working, a great daddy, advocate of the orphan and needy, my best friend.  Thank you for sweeping me off my feet when I was a confused, young, college girl.  I knew the first day I met you that you were the ONE.  Happy Valentines Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

the Colorado Springs caller id

This is so stupid-really
But, my stat counter, that lists the cities of visitors to my blog, shows Colorado Springs sometimes.  Then, my caller id lately has had several calls that show a number with Colorado Springs as the id--never leaves a message. 
In my imagination, it is Brady Boyd at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. I've heard him speak a few times.   He is an adoptive daddy and very involved in orphan ministry and the Wait No More campaign for foster children.

  In my imagination, he's reading my blog and calling me to come work as a consultant in orphan and adoption ministry!!  COOL huh???

I realize I'm being completely delusional!!

But, Pastor Boyd, if that is you out there, I'd love to pick your brain on how followers of Jesus are supposed to care for orphans.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Refuse, Greatest song ever

Scroll way down to the far right side of my blog and pause the music player so you can hear the words to the song that says exactly what I want my life to say.  I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else--to do what God has called me to do myself!
And, in case you can't play the video, here are the lyrics to I Refuse by Josh Wilson
Sometimes I,

I just want to close my eyes

And act like everyone’s alright

When I know they’re not.

This world needs God

But it’s easier to stand and watch.

I could pray a prayer and just move on

Like nothing’s wrong.

But I refuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.

I don’t want to say another empty prayer.

Oh, I refuse to

Sit around and wait for someone else

To do what God has called me to do myself.

Oh, I could choose

Not to move but I refuse.

I can hear the least of these

Crying out so desperately,

And I know we are the hands and feet

Of you, oh God.

So, if you say move,

Then it’s time for me to follow through,

And do what I was made to do.

Show them who you are.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Texas weather warp??

Seriously, where is the SUN??  Gonna go nuts over here.  This is exactly why I have to live somewhere with rare snow days and lots of sun.  I neeeeeed some warmth!

Tomorrow is day 4 of ice, below 25degrees, no sun, and school out.  People make fun of Texans when we have an ice storm.  Really, we aren't prepared.  Last Friday it was 75 and sunny.  We have no thermals(I'm wearing a pair of leggings, sweats over them, 2 shirts, and 2 pair of socks and I'm freezing!).  My heater is using "emergency heat" mode and I'm terrified of that bill.  Our cars have no chains, we are stinkin C...O...L...D!  We are all going stir crazy--it is too cold to play outside--I think I got near frostbite after trying to make a snowman.  I took a bath today and shaved--my leg hairs were about 3 inches long from having chillbumps all the time.  I could have braided them!!
We've played checkers, connect 4, chase around the living room, indoor basketball, and such. 

Many of you have asked how Dillon is doing.  He is doing well.  We let  him sleep in his room for the first time last night.  Yes, I'm paranoid and have checked his temp twice a day since Saturday.  The neurologist wants him to have an EEG next Thursday morning.  He has to be sleep deprived(can sleep from 11pm-4am).  That will be pure torture keeping him awake(this kid falls asleep at 7:45 everynight!!).  The EEG is no biggie, but he has to be completely still and sleep.

Yesterday was Carter's 15th birthday.  Funny, he was born on an ice-storm night and we slid to the hospital.  Appropriate for his 15th birthday to reminisce of that.  What a precious young man he is!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Adoption tax changes

Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but those of you who've been hiding behind lack of money as the excuse for not following God's prompting to adopt--Congress went and eliminated it :)

The new tax changes are awesome.  Used to, the tax credit for adoption expenses was just that, a credit.  So, it would deduct from your tax liabilty--but you couldn't get more than you'd paid in.  Now, it is a refund.  See the difference?  ClickHERE, or cut and paste this from the IRS itself
 for more explanation.  Of course, you must submit documentation to be legit.

Since we finalized Hudson's adoption last March, we weren't able to claim adoption expenses for 2009--when he came home.  Now, thank you Jesus, we are going to be able to get a refund for adoption expenses(yes, travel is even included) for up to 13,100.  Oh....MY....WORD!!  The remainder of our adoption loan will be completely paid off.

 When we said yes to Mike going to South Africa in March, we had no idea about this new tax change--it was a leap of faith--as so much of our trips and adoptions have been.  Talk about God's provision--even through the not so holy IRS! God works in mysterious ways huh??
Ha, that was a total joke any IRS tax lovers out there