Friday, November 26, 2010

Dinosaur Feet

This movie is a few months old - the boys opening gifts from Grammy and Papa.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ukraine

There are several blogs I follow about people who have adopted or are adopting from the Ukraine. Most of these sweet children have special needs and without someone to come get them and take them home, are destined to live out their days in really, really horrible conditions. (Some of the children pictured in that post are in the process of being adopted out - and they are included in this crisis!) When they are older (four? six?) they are sent to institutions where they don't survive for very long at all. But organizations like Reece's Rainbow have raised awareness about these children, and many people are adopting them.

But now. The Ukrainian government is voting soon on whether to stop ALL international adoptions. The bill has passed one vote; it only needs one more to stop all adoptions. Just like that, families who have been working, praying, loving, and trying to get their babies home will be told that there is nothing they can do. Families who are currently in the Ukraine, so close to being done with the process, will be sent home with empty arms. I can't imagine. Well, I can. But I really don't want to.

And all those little ones, who were created by God and are loved by Him... they will remain in their cribs. They won't know the love of a family. They won't have the nutrition and medicine and therapy they need.

There are two things you can do to help:
1. Pray. A lot.
2. Write to your congressmen and ask them to step in and do something about it. Click HERE to go to a blog with links on how to contact them, as well as a form letter you can email to them. It's so easy to do; takes all of five minutes.

Jesus, have mercy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blog Article

Good perspective on waiting and Advent...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Pennsylvania Travel Log, Part Three

(in which I finally finish writing about our wonderful trip to Pennsylvania by waxing eloquent on friendship. Or just by waxing on it.)
(Alison and I right before we left for home. Don't we look cute and matchy? Not intentional. Well, the cute is. Just not the matchy.)

If this adoption journey has been so much more difficult than I could have imagined (it has) then this friendship with Alison has been so much sweeter than I could have hoped. Two people who have never met, who are following the Lord into adoption from the same country, at the same time, with the same agency, find each other through blogs, chat groups, and email. They begin emailing and find that more similarities abound: they are both writers. They think the same. They both home school their kids.

This trip to PA was when we got to meet face-to-face for the first time. We spent hours just talking. In the famous sun room (my favorite place in her house!). In the kitchen over pumpkin cookies. At Panera Bread and Barnes and Noble. Outside while we pushed the kids on the swings. It was nice to find that we communicate in spoken words as well as we do in written.

I am very thankful for this friendship, this gift. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A Friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature." Replace nature with God and I think that about sums it up.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pennsylvania Travel Log, Part Two

Better late than never, right?

Day two in PA, continued:

We spent most of Saturday at Cherry Crest Farm, a huge fall festival/fair/corn maze thing. It was so fun! We attempted the corn maze, the boys rode pedal cars, we did a huge slide over and over (the slide included a long hike up a steep hill), they kids bounced on this big balloon thing that was buried in sand, we smelled yummy kettle corn, and we enjoyed the beautiful weather. We only had time to do a fraction of what there was, and we were there most of the day.

(Iain looks like some kind of rocket-powered super boy here)

We finished the night off with pizza and more talking... late into the night every night.

My days are starting to get mixed up, so I'll hit the highlights of the trip:
--went to church and worshiped Jesus with our friends
--Alison and I went coat-shopping for me and Iain. Found a good one for Iain. No luck for me, but we were out and near Sonic at happy-hour. Introduced Alison to the sparkling lemonade. Yum.
--ate so many pumpkin cookies!
--talked and talked and talked and then talked some more

--One day we went to see a room full of miniature trains. The whole room was full of this landscape with buildings, tunnels, little people, a circus. So much detail. We went around and around the room and saw new things every time. Iain's favorite part was the house that catches fire periodically (real smoke!). A siren sounds, a fire truck comes out of a station a few buildings down and drives to the house. A tiny fireman gets out, raises a ladder, climbs it, and hacks at a window, while another fireman sprays a hose with real water into the building, and another one runs out of the building carrying a person. Crazy!

Jeremy liked the workers and crane raising a billboard best. Cory fancied the tunnel with the glowing plants. I liked the Amish barn-raising, complete with movements of hammer and saw:
Unfortunately, this is where my camera died for the second time. Thanks, Alison, for all the pictures of things I missed!

--we also drove to Hershey to see the chocolate factory.

The boys loved the "roller coaster" (really a slow-moving ride that shows how chocolate is made), and they were talking tonight about how the roaster worked:

Cory really hammed it up that day, doing his trademark duck-walk (with elbows poked out). Look at his face in this picture, if you can see it:
He found such beautiful leaves, too. I wanted a picture of him with them, but the only way I could get him to hold them up was to tell him to show Nona his leaves (I told him I'd post the picture on the blog so Nona could see.). So here he's saying, "Look, Nona!"
The drive to Hershey was worth the whole day out (as if the chocolate factory wasn't enough of a draw). It was breathtakingly beautiful, the leaves hanging over the road in brilliant yellow and orange against the wet grey sky and the black trees. Rain always makes colors more vibrant.

--I got to meet Alison's sister Amy, who is also adopting from Rwanda. While the three of us visited, Jeremy read books to the kids (although requests to read books were surprisingly few and far between - too much else to do, I guess).
--One of the highlights of the trip was getting to meet so many other Rwanda Mamas-to-be. There are a surprising number of them in the area of PA we were in, and we all met for dinner (At Macaroni Grill; I had chicken alfredo - this note is especially for the Brannon side :) ) We pulled the heavy curtain closed around our private room and went around the table, each telling the story of how God led us to adopt from Rwanda. I was amazed at His creativity. Everyone's story was so dramatically different. Most had moments of laughter (often at ourselves), and all had the hand of God so clearly seen. I loved hearing how He directed each family differently, and yet we have all arrived at the same place. Water to a thirsty soul, I tell you. Only one woman there already has her child home. The rest of us are waiting. So great to meet all you girls!
Okay, enough for tonight. One more Pennsylvania post to come... sometime. :)