May 31, 2009

Sweet and Sour

We are back from our vaca with our niece and nephew from Orlando. It was fun to be away and enjoy being with the kids, but the longer we were away, an overwhelming longing filled my heart and hasn't yet left. I know our children are coming. I know that every thing happens in God's timing, but the longing for my children grows with each passing day. I tried really hard to not spend a lot of time this last week online, blogging, or obsessively checking my email from our agency regarding our application status. I didn't even work, which for those of you who know me really well, know that not working sometimes equate to not breathing for me. I wanted time to clear my head, pray, spend time with family and just enjoy a week away from the office. I just couldn't shake the dreams each night that perhaps our next family holiday would include our children. I saw our children in the faces of every dark skinned child I encountered. I fantasized about how old they would be, what they would look like, and whether or not we would be picking out shades of pink or blue. I know that we have not yet begun to wait, but I am, at least for awhile, have to be content with seeing my children in my sleep.

May 28, 2009

How Sweet The Sound

I've been lazy this week. Well, not exactly lazy (we've been at Disney World with our niece and nephew all week), but I haven't blogged for several days. When Le and I began our adoption journey, we knew that having children of our own would change things a lot. Our niece and nephew are the only kids in our families and they are, how do you say, really spoiled. Having cousins around will be challenging, but Le and I wanted to give them a trip just for the two of them that reminded them that they are special. So we packed up this last week and headed to Orlando. Since it is just the four of us on our first out of town excursion, I of course, have had the responsibility of getting Alexis and I ready for dinner every night. Her hair is so thick that it takes FOREVER to dry, so we spend a lot of time underneath the hair dryer. While we are getting ready, I always turn on some praise music, or an upbeat country tune. This week my favorite CD still remains Micheal W. Smith's A New Hallelujah. There is a great rendition of Amazing Grace and I haven't noticed until last night, that Lexi has been intimately paying attention to every word. Last night, as I was finishing up her hair, I heard her belting out Amazing Grace! It was so moving to hear such big words coming from a tiny voice. Thank you Father, let me be more like a child!

May 21, 2009

The List

Awhile back, Le and I were driving to Tulsa. During the ride, I broke out a pen and a piece of paper and Le and wrote out a list of all of the places in the world that we wanted to see before we died. We made a pretty impressive recitation of places we were looking forward to visiting. I remember very specifically asking Le if he ever wanted to go to Africa; he said not really and I left the country off of our list. Over the last several months, Africa has not only become a place that Le and I want to go and see, but a place where we have sent our hearts and the ONLY place we want to be. Today, as I was going through the papers on my desk, I found our list. I laughed and wrote "AFRICA" across the top.
Thank you Lord for allowing our dreams to be flexible and for having your desires become our own.

May 18, 2009

An All-Round Great Circle

I have written a lot about my family. Family has always been a big part of my life. I knew that when it was time to get married, that my husband's family would be an extension of a new part of my life. What I didn't expect was to have hit the in-law jackpot! When I showed Le's mom my engagement ring almost six years ago, she burst into tears and told me that her family was finally complete. I didn't know at the time how much Le's family and friends would complete my life. Every holiday, birthday, and special occasion is celebrated, not just by my biological family, but the amazing group of people I married into. When I graduated from law school, I know I had the biggest group of supporters than anyone else. And through this adoption process, nothing has changed. This past mother's day, for the first time, I received my first mother's day cards. Although I am not yet a mother, Le loves to tell everyone that I am "paper pregnant". My mother in law and husband sent me flowers and a wonderful friend donated money to Mocha Club in my name for mother's day (Meg, I still can't tell you how cool that was of you!). My mother and sister came for dinner to celebrate together and I had to give thanks for such an amazing group and thank you all for continuing to celebrate our children who are not yet here; I know that love is felt even across an ocean.

May 17, 2009

Much Needed Rest

This weekend, Le was off of work and we got to be together for two whole days. With his schedule at the fire department, this only happens every three weekends, so being together for so long on the weekends is sometimes a little crazy. Last post, my wonderful husband hacked into my blog and recorded a very sweet message for me; I was blown away. Thank you my love! This next week is going to be quite the challenge at work and it was nice to spend some time at home, relaxing. Also, if any of you need some great beads from Uganda, I have the place for you. These beads are made from TRASH! and are made by individuals living in Uganda. Brandi, who works closely with Children's HopeChest is selling them on her website. All the money goes straight back to Uganda. So go get as many as you want!

May 16, 2009

What she means to me.

Lindsey posts some of the most amazing things about her family and especially me on here but I just want to make sure that she knows how much that she means to me and just how important that she is. I know that there is no way for me to express my feelings to her that way that she does but I was sitting at the fire station this morning watching music videos while everyone else was still sleeping and I felt this video just really explains how feel about my wife. Lindsey I love you very much and am so glad that we are experiencing this adoption process together and I know that you will make a great mommy.

May 9, 2009

A Daddy's Girl...29 years and Counting

I have always been a self-proclaimed Daddy's girl. For those of you who know me well, this has never come as a surprise. My dad never called me his princess. He never coddled me and gave me everything I wanted (although he was really close sometimes). I always felt like he wanted my sister and I do be able to do it ourselves, to know the thrill of accomplishment that you can only know after working hard and relishing the rewards. He instilled in me a confidence and determination that no crown, color of pink, or title could ever give me. He made me self-reliant and repeatedly reminded me that the only men I ever truly needed was my Heavenly Father and him. He was not naive enough to believe that I would never fall in love and marry, in fact, I knew that he and my mother prayed for my future husband often. But being young, I held tightly to my dad and I knew that while most girls were looking for a man who was just like their dad, I didn't have too, I was just like mine. I would need a spouse with a warrior heart capable of loving me, someone just like my mother. As a child and even until I graduated high school, early Saturday mornings were spent with my father and I sneaking out of our house and driving twenty minutes to the nearest McDonald's for juice and an egg mcmuffin. No matter how late I stayed out with my friends on Friday nights, Saturday mornings were reserved for dad. During those car rides we would talk about everything: school, boys, life, college, and amazing stories about when my dad was kid. I have never forgot those mornings. They are amazing jewels of childhood that I remember fondly.
When Le and I started this adoption journey, there were four people that I knew would be supportive to the end and our biggest cheerleaders and while Le and I were striving to have two additional titles added to our names, each of those esteemed members of our lives had earned the title of "mom" and "dad" without fail.
This Saturday morning, as I sat in my office and looked out my window, dreaming of how mother's day suddenly was not just a Hallmark-holiday, a face appeared, my dad's face! He had come to see me, just to hang out and talk (I couldn't hear him knocking on the front door, so he had to knock on my window). As we spent the morning telling stories, jokes and updating each other on the past week's activities, he said something that struck me. He said that when he was in the throes of Vietnam and losing friends every week, he wondered why God had let him live when so many others died and he believed that he could never change the world. And he had never received an answer until a few weeks ago. My dad's purpose was his three children, because of what we were going to accomplish and by bringing us into the world, he had prepared us to complete our own purposes for the Lord. Dad-no one else may ever know, but you have changed MY world and made all the difference in MY life. Because of your strength and guidance, along with mom's soft heart, your grandchildren will know that it is because of YOU that they are here and that means more to me than you will ever know.
Tomorrow may be set aside to mothers, but for me, Saturdays will always be reserved for DAD!
I love you!

May 4, 2009

Another Step Completed!

Today we received our FBI background checks from Virginia. When I returned to the office, we also had the rough draft of our homestudy emailed to us. From here, we have to have our homestudy finalized and mailed off to the U.S. Immigration office for approval and they will set the appointment for us to be fingerprinted. After we are approved through Immigration, then we will be able to finalize our documents to send to Ethiopia. Hopefully, it will only be a few more weeks.

May 3, 2009

A Really Great Day.

Last night our wonderful nephew came to spend the night with us. We hung out and when Le headed to the station today, Landon and I headed for church. Afterwards I got to go pick up Landon's little sis, Lexi and have lunch with them. When I dropped them off at home, Lexi clung to me like shrink wrap and kept begging me to stay with her a little longer. I am always humbled by these moments and am hopeful that such moments will always stick with me. But I also have a swell of emotion because I can't help but wonder that if these two children like being with Le and I so much, I can't imagine what it will be like when we have children of our own. I find myself daydreaming all the time now about being a mom. One uncertainty about our adoption process was that Le and I did not ask for a specific gender and told our agency that we would like to adopt a sibling group, two children, under the age of 6, with at least one of them under the age of a year. So in a since, it is like being pregnant. We are always guessing as to what sex they will be; how old they will be. It's become a game in our family and even Lexi (who just turned 8), who been adamant about only wanting a girl, has started joining in with her guesses as to how old they are going to be.

To my darling children...there is an amazing circle of family who are praying for you every day and anxiously wait to meet you.

For those of you who are praying for Africa, here are some links to a group of AMAZING women who are currently on mission trip to Uganda for Children's HopeChest. They are travelling through Uganda establishing orphanages who need to be sponsored in order to survive.

One of the women traveling in Uganda is a photographer and her pictures are amazing! Click here to follow her blog.