Monday, July 26, 2010

Pictures for Nona

My mom has requested her "grandson fix," so in her honour, some pictures:

Iain and Isaiah at Cow Appreciation Day:
Jenna and her new ergo. She's standing in front of those sticks I have on the wall; it's not her hair sticking out. :) Look at my cute nephew!

Hopscotch on the back deck:

My, what a handsome fellow.

Early July found us at the boys' first movie ever: Veggie Tales' The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Liz and Penny joined us, though Penny didn't last too long. It was a valiant effort. At Jeremy's request, I bought them popcorn, but they didn't eat much of it (the three of us couldn't even finish the kid-sized portion). Cory sat on my lap for most of the movie and loved it; he kep asking, "What is going to happen next?" Iain, my very visual child, was a bit scared but bravely stuck it out, burrowing his face into my side occasionally. Cory loved "the yellin' cheetos" and Iain favored the Rock Monsters.

Silly Cory:

Silly Iain's pose when I told him I was going to put pictures on the blog for Nona:

The boys have been asking for ages to ride the train at the mall. We decided that when the baby sister came home, we'd do it to celebrate. But we needed something to keep up morale around here one day, so we decided we will go again when the baby sister comes home.

They loved the train ride. Cory sang "I am a conductor riding a train" half the time. They had to sit in the caboose, of course. They waved to everyone we passed and told people they couldn't keep up with us. Liz and Penny joined us for this adventure, too - we are so glad to have them along on these adventures!

After the train ride, the boys played in the mall play place. Fearless Cory just jumped and jumped off everything the whole time.

Look at that grin!

He Places the Lonely in Families

God is good. Monroe has a family. That makes my day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

If You Ever Thought...

... that maybe you were called to adoption, please go read this post. There is a little boy in the Ukraine named Monroe. He is five years old, and about to be placed in an institution as he has aged out of the orphanage. His chance of survival in that place is zero. He needs a family! And a donor has provided $20,000 for the adoption of this little boy, so pretty much all the expenses for his adoption are already covered!

Please go look at him, ask the Lord if you are his family, and say a prayer for him. Jesus loves Monroe!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Year

One year ago today, we were accepted into our agency's Rwanda program. I remember where I was when I got the call: my friend Lauren’s house, in Orlando. I had the boys with me, and Lauren and I were enjoying a rather chaotic visit while the boys played with her son (and Iain’s first friend) Noah. When my phone rang and I saw it was from Virginia, I told her “it’s them!” and stepped outside into the heat and quiet, leaving her to deal with the crazy kids.

When I came back inside, grinning, she gave me a big hug and we imagined for a few moments where my daughter was right then. Had her heart just started beating, inside the womb of the woman who would give her life? Was she already in the orphanage, waiting for us? Had she just been born? Lauren was about to have her second son (he was born on my birthday a week later!), and she remarked how ten months (the estimated wait at the time) was just like a pregnancy. How soon she’d be with us! I thought. I could be holding her by my next birthday.

Now we’ve hit the one year mark. We still haven’t received our approval, which means if we got it today, we’d have another three or four months or so before we have our daughter in our arms. The wait time is lengthening. Waiting for my daughter has probably been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We have three children, but one of them is so far away. I want them all home with me. I want to kiss them all goodnight tonight, to read to them all, to hold them all. It tears my heart up. Yesterday was one of the hardest days I have had so far during this wait. I think it was because I knew that today was the year-mark. What a tough milestone to face. I feel a sense of hopelessness; I can’t even pray with words. Just groanings of the soul, which I am comforted to know He understands.

But I know, I know that it will be worth it. Every single tear that falls, every single ache in my heart -- our daughter is worth it. Not just when I hold her in my arms someday, no, even before that. It is worth it right now. Our daughter is worth fighting for, and I know that the hurt now is a measure of the love that Jesus is pouring into my heart for her. 

Will you pray for our daughter especially today? And pray that soon we would be able to hold her and love on her and bring her home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fourth of July on the Houseboat

What a fun Fourth of July we had! 

Our usual tradition of going to Winter Park's festivities (in Florida) was traded in this year for a day on Jeremy's aunt and uncle's houseboat on the lake. We had so much fun! Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa live on the houseboat full time, and have for about a year. The boat is pretty amazing; it has a big living room, a kitchen, a dining area, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a basement! Out front is a porch/deck area with comfy chairs and flowering potted plants. In the back is another deck for jumping off of and swimming. On top is a huge deck with a canopy shelter and a big table under it, a bar with barstools, and a big sunny area with lounge chairs. And a slide. Yes, it has a slide with water going down it that goes from the top story to the lake. How fun! Cory really, really wanted to go on the slide, but after I tried it, I thought the drop at the bottom would be too much for him even with a life jacket on.

Lake Lanier is so beautiful. It was man-made, built with the completion of a dam in 1956. It's huge! It is in five counties and has 692 (!!) miles of shoreline, and it's over 1000 feet deep. The purpose of the lake was to provide hydroelectricity, flood control (it's only flooded twice in Metro Atlanta since the completion of the Buford Dam - once was last year!), and drinking water. Florida, Alabama, and Georgia all fight for the rights to water from this lake. And some of the summer Olympic events from 1996 were held here. 

The most Romantic bit about this lake, though, is that the Army Corps of Engineers actually flooded a valley to create it. They had to buy land from people and relocate 700 families! And then they cut down the tallest trees and took out some buildings, and flooded it! So there are still some trees and buildings down there, and apparently during a bad drought, you can see the tallest stuff. Fascinating!

On to pictures:
I took the boys out around the back of the boat in the float. They loved it, and so did I! It was really deep out there, but they had life jackets and the very steady float, so they did great. Later, Phil and Kelly, Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa, Jeremy, and some of their friends joined us back there and we had swam, floated around, went down the slide, and got some sun. Eventually Jeremy and I ended up with a boy on each lap as we sat in the floats, and both boys put their heads down and may have even dozed a little bit.

Because the houseboat was docked at a little island, we had to take another boat to and from it and the dock. Phil and Kelly rode back with us. That little boat could move!

The highlight of Iain's day was when he got to drive the boat.

I could definitely get used to life on the water.

Although we couldn't stay for the fireworks (they didn't even start until after nine, and we had two boys who had skipped their naps), we still had a great time. What a fun day! And, as you can guess, I found the lake beautiful and fascinating. Although Lake Howell, where I grew up, doesn't have such an interesting history, the day at Lake Lanier still made me miss "my" lake. Lakes are among my favorite places on earth; I'm glad we live near so many up here. Thanks for such a great day on the water, Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa! 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Long Summer Days

We are really enjoying our summer!

--The boys have become fascinated with bears. Hence the two pictures below.

--Grammy and Papa came to visit, baked with the boys, and painted the kitchen blue.

-- play time, craft time, silly time...

--Iain loves playing card games. He knows war and go fish. It helped his learn his numbers, and he knows which numbers are higher or lower than others.

--We went to Orlando for almost a week, and Jeremy and I spent our first weekend away from the boys at a FamilyLife Marriage conference, which was incredible. (My mom kept the boys.)

--lots of reading time. On the "reading boat" or on the couch.

--Silly boy with a sweet smile savoring summer.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A Year and a Day

It's been a year and a day since we submitted our application to our agency for their Rwanda program.

366 days.

What a blessing they have been. Severe mercy.

Friday, July 02, 2010

What Else Can the Baby Not Do?

We had a delightfully funny conversation just now as we all piled on the bed and snuggled. Iain asked some question, to which the answer was no. He thoughtfully said, "When I grow up and I am a daddy and I have a girl to be my mom (he meant wife), I will have babies and when they ask questions, I will never say no."
"What if the baby wants to touch a hot stove?" I asked.
"No," Iain said with a sheepish laugh.
"What if the baby wants to go run into the road?"
"No," he replied again.
Now Cory was getting into it, too: "What else can the baby not do?"
"What if the baby wants to climb onto the roof?"
"What if the baby wants to eat so much ice cream that his tummy hurts?"
"What if the baby tries to go into the woods with someone who is eleven?" (that one was from Iain)
And on and on it went, with Cory interjecting every few moments, "What else can the baby not do?"
Some of the situations were real head-scratchers: What if the baby wants to watch movies all day? Cory thought for a while and eventually said no. Iain said, "I would let the baby watch movies all day, but if there were scary parts, I would block his face."
What if the baby wants to jump on everything? Iain's reply, "Not volcanoes."
"What if the baby wanted to eat four bags of cheetoes?" asked Jeremy.
"I would let him eat one snack of cheetoes," Iain responded very seriously. Cory agreed.
When we ran out of things the baby can't do, Iain said, "I'll give you some options," and proceeded to come up with some other funny ones. Each was considered and discussed and usually vetoed. So much for never saying no. 

Cory also said when he grew into a daddy, he would help change diapers. Iain said that he'd say no. "Yuck," he added.

What a funny way to spend the evening.