Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful #2

I am thankful for the lessons I am still learning during this time about the sovereignty of God. I have learned more than I could have by reading a hundred theology books. Or at least, I have digested it better. The doctrine of the sovereignty of God has become part of my life in a very deep and real way. Thank You, Jesus!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thankful #1

Waiting is hard.

From mid-August until October 1, I gave up something I really enjoy for the sake of prayer for our little one and the others who are waiting for their families. Since that is drawing to a close, I think I will focus this month on another way to pray: thanksgiving. So my challenge to myself is to come up with at least one thing every day that I am thankful for--and here's the kicker--that relates specifically to this waiting time. It's easy to be thankful for other things, even adoption-related-but-not-waiting-related things. But can I find His hand in the waiting? I'm going to try...

1. I am thankful that the longer the wait goes on, the more my heart seems knitted to my daughter's heart. I love her more than should be possible to love someone you've never met, never seen. This is, I know, a gift from God who is Love. Thank You, Jesus.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Funnies

Today is the last day of summer! Just thought you should know. And these boys crack me up. Thought you should know that, too.

Jeremy: Look out the window at that moose, boys!
Iain: Where are the people worshipping it?
Me: What do you mean?
Iain: Are they inside that restaurant?
Me: Iain, it's just a statue of a moose.
Iain: Oh. I thought it was an idol.

Cory, writing on paper: This says, "I'll love you forever." (hands card to Iain)
Iain: You'll love me forever?
Cory: That's what it says!

Iain: These cards tell what I will do with my whole life.
Me: What do they say?
Iain: I don't know.

(He drew the face on the magnadoodle, and then made the same face himself)

Iain spent a good deal of one bath time "baptizing" his ducks. We heard him in there, saying, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Sometimes it was, "the God and the Son and the Holy Spirit." He told Cory that they would baptize the mama duck first because she loved Jesus the most. Then when I was getting him ready for bed that night...
Iain: I don't love Jesus anymore.
Me: Why not?
Iain: I will love Him when I am ten.
Me: Is it because you don't want to get baptized?
Iain: Yes. I don't want to go under water.
Me: That's okay. You can still love Jesus and get baptized when you are older.
Iain, relieved: Okay.

Last night, Cory told me after he was in bed that he was hungry. So we snuck out for a midnight snack. And Cory was in a silly mood:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birthday Boy!

I can't believe this guy is FOUR!

Like last year, we had another two-part birthday for Iain. Or, I should say, we tried to...

The morning after my cousin's wedding in Tennessee, we gathered everyone at the hotel pool for a little party-time fun. We had planned to get doughnuts and lollypops (birthday boy's request), but that morning, poor Iain took a nasty tumble in the parking lot, cut up his nose and forehead, and worked himself up until his stomach, shall we say, wouldn't have handled the sweets very well. So we promised him doughnuts on his real birthday and had a treatless party.

After some group shots of all the cousins (my generation and down),

we did our first party activity: decorating hats.

If you know Iain, you know he loves his hats. As witness:

And then it was on to present opening:

And swimming (in the freezing cold water):

Iain loves his cousins. Most of them aren't really even his cousins (they are mine, which makes them his...second cousins? First cousins once removed?), but many of them are so close to his age that they are, for all practical purposes, his cousins. He loves playing with them, so having them at his fourth birthday was a very special thing.

On the real birthday (about a week later), Iain was sick. The poor little guy. He had a nasty fever, vicious cough, and a horrible wheezing sound coming from his lungs. So he and I spent a good bit of his birthday afternoon at urgent care. Not fun. We did get him doughnuts that morning, but he didn't want them until much later. And when he did eat them, it was a pitiful sight.

He did open his present from Grammy and Papa on his real birthday, and played with it a little. But besides that and the smoothie he got from McDonald's on our way home from urgent care (and yes, I got myself a big soda - it was a long few days!), the day was a bummer.

Now he is four. And here is what he says:
Favorite thing to do: play baseball. "My next favorite thing to do is play trumpet."
Favorite food: cheetos
Favorite color: "yellow, orange, blue and red. And black."
When I grow up, I want to be: "I wanna be...a fireman!"

Iain, these days you like to spend your time making music, reading, drawing, watching movies (you could do this all day long if I let you!), jumping on the "trumpalump," and playing trains. You are so much more independent than you were just last year. You get yourself dressed. You brush your own teeth in the morning. You drink from a cup with no lid. You can get something from the basement for me if I need you to. You can write your name and several other letters. You go outside to play.

You're such a good big brother to Cory. You and he play so well together, most of the time. You say your favorite thing to do with him is play music. You let him play with your pirate ships and you make complicated train track towns with him. You bring him his bear when he's sad, and you call me when he gets hurt. You tell me that when the baby sister is old enough, you will play hopscotch with her. :) You love to wrestle with Daddy, or have him read you books.

You're a smart boy! You love learning and right now, you're fascinated with volcanoes and planets. And you love music, pirates, and yes, you still love Bunny.

Happy birthday, Iain! We love you!

(Iain's other birthday posts: zero, one, another one, two, three, another three)

Friday, September 17, 2010

'Tis the Season

(Our family at my cousin Jessica's wedding in Tennessee at the beginning of the month)

If you have read any of my posts about adoption, if you have known anyone who has adopted, or if you have or are adopting yourself, you know one thing: waiting is hard. It's really, really hard. But when I read this post, it really started me thinking about how I can embrace this time of life, this in-between time of waiting for our daughter. (Read the post I linked to. It's really good.)

I have been adamant throughout this time of adoption that I would not wish the days away. Although I can't wait until I hold my baby girl in my arms, I will not be so caught up in wishing for that day to come that I miss out my boys' childhood. They're so young and they change so much in these years, and I will not miss that by wanting the days to pass faster. This is their childhood and I want to be fully present for it.

That said, when I read that post, it got me thinking more about not just living this time of life, but really embracing it. Cory, despite my best efforts to keep him so, is really no longer a baby. He is completely potty-trained now (even at night!), he is doing more on his own than ever, and both he and Iain are just growing in independence by leaps and bounds. I am in an unusual position of knowing a baby is on the way without physically feeling it. I know I'm not done with babies yet, so I don't have to feel melancholy that I'm done with sweet-smelling heads, tiny clothes, little laughs and cries. It's the best of both worlds, really: knowing there is more baby-loving to come and enjoying the freedom that comes with slightly-older kids. I need to intentionally make the most of this time, doing things (with the boys and apart from them) that we won't be able to do for a while when the baby gets here.

Things like:
--going to the kids' museum in SC, and other day trips
--letting them play with toys that have tiny parts, and leaving them out
--skipping naptime sometimes in favor of something more fun
--going camping
--working on more complicated art projects with the boys
--doing more at church than we'll be able to commit to later
--writing a lot
--sleeping through the night (this is a very new one for us!)
--being flexible with our schedule
--going out on dates alone

--um... trying hard to think of things here. Help me out and add a couple in the comments, will you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Iain's Last Day as a Three

A blog by Iain: all words are his own.

That one, I'm holding the Thomas. The Thomas wants to go home. I found him up in the play place. I thought, "I never found a Thomas." Then I snatched him away from the play place and then goed down the slide.

That picture is where Isaiah is laughing because Iain maked Isaiah laugh:

That picture is what Cory is doing. He is almost down the slide. It's Chick-fil-a.

That picture is Cory going to tickle Isaiah. He looks happy!

I'm on my way to go down the slide. I was making the face because I wanted to make Isaiah laugh.

I'm down the slide and I want to tickle Isaiah. I have Thomas in my hand. I do have Thomas in my hand! I was making that face because I wanted to make Isaiah silly.

Cory's going to tickle himself. He wants my Thomas, but I said, "no." (Cory adds: "I tried to find a Thomas, but I couldn't.")

I am pretending I'm a dinosaur!

Isaiah's laughing at Cor. He's laughing at him, but he's not looking at him. And nothing else.

That one, Isaiah's dancing with Aunt Jenna. Funny.

Now Cory is hubbled up in the slide. (Cory adds: "I was stweamin' because I knowed Iain was comin' down.") (stweamin' = screaming)
That day was good. I got balloons at the end. And I played with my new Thomas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good Friends and Kitchen Elves

A few weeks ago, we had the chance to visit our good friends Sidonie and Ryan, who were visiting from Germany. Sidonie and I met in the dorm we lived in at FSU during our freshman year and have been friends ever since. We were even in each others' weddings. :) And they lived with us for a while when we were in Florida. We were so glad to get to see them on their (all-too-short) trip to the states. We met half way between here and Tallahassee where they were staying, at a little town with not much to it. We found a park, and when that got too hot, we landed at a little library. Loved the AC and the boys were, of course, in heaven. After that, we found a McDonald's play place, and then introduced them again to the joys of Zaxby's. Yum. Actually, the first time they met Iain was at a Zaxby's. (See the last picture.)

I'm so glad Sidonie and Ryan took time out of their busy vacationing schedule to see us! Maybe next time, we'll be visiting them in Germany. Well, I can dream, right?

And then, the Kitchen Elves. I'm sure you all are cringing at the sight of bare feet on the counters, but they are just so cute. I just can't resist a Kitchen Elf or two. Click here for the original Kitchen Elf post.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Prayer for Adoptions

There's a whole invisible world that gathers under the category of the international adoption blog community. I have made friends here, most that I have never met in real life (yet!). Tomorrow, some of the people in that group are joining hands and prayers for children who just need to come home. Please consider joining with us by praying and fasting tomorrow for our little girl and others (you can read their stories here).

For us, with the recent closing of Rwanda to any new adoptions, we don't have a good grasp on the timeline of how long it will take for those of us who are currently waiting. Please pray with us that the people in charge of Rwandan adoptions would be able to move quickly through the stack of dossiers that represent families and open arms. Pray for the children who are waiting to be united with their families. Pray for the sisters who run the orphanage where these children live. Pray for everyone involved to be and do what they need to be and do. I know this is vague - it needs to be. You can go here for a little more information, but that's about all I've got.

Thank you for praying tomorrow. May God move mightily and may we see many doors swing open and many kids go home.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

We Don't Love Walmart

Iain: Why did they say Live Better at Walmart?
Me: Because they were advertising. They want you to think your life will be better if you shop at Walmart. Is that true?
Iain: No!
Me: A store can't make you happy. What things make you happy?
Iain: Playing at home! Doing crafts! Running! Making handprints! Making key chains!
Me: Jesus gives us good things.
Iain: Walmart can't give us that!

Amen. :)

The Funnies

Cory, this morning: I feel drowsy. Why does drowsy mean sleepy?

Some older funnies: When Grammy and Papa were visiting a while ago, I overheard the following discussion about a mouse Grammy found in her classroom at school. I typed it down as they were saying it.

Iain: Why was the mouse at school?
Grammy: He wanted to eat the food. So I called someone to get rid of them.
Iain: You could shoot them.
Grammy: We can’t bring a gun to school. There are no guns allowed at school.
Cory: Why?
Grammy: Because you couldn’t bring a gun around all those children! Then who could get hurt?
Cory: THE MICE!!
Grammy: No, we can’t bring any guns to school. No one can.
Cory: What about the mice?

Grammy: Sometimes mice get in the drawers and they go potty in there, and it's gross.
Cory: Why don't they run to the potty?

Iain: That cookie is so good I can barely stand it!

Iain: Butter pecan is Grammy's favorite ice cream. It's my favorite ice cream too. It's not too hot and not too cold. It's just right. You have to marry someone who loves the same kind of ice cream as you.
Me: What if you want to marry someone who doesn't like the same kind?
Iain: Then I would say, "I won't marry you. I will marry Grammy because she likes butter pecan."
Me: But she is already married to Papa.
Iain: Then I will un-marry her to Papa and marry her to me.
Me: But God says you should only be married to one person.
Iain: Well, if I was God, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, that's not how I would do it. I would say you can un-marry someone if they like the same ice cream as you.

Cory: I dreamed a kitchen window was smashing, and there was banana bread and there were bunnies, so I put the bunnies in a cage and I ate the banana bread.