Mar 23, 2012

Fun time with friends this weekend.

We'd love to tell you all about it, but it will have to wait until Monday.
We're out making those memories now.

Mar 19, 2012

Small Group Isn't So Small Any More

When The Hero and I decided to adopt almost three years ago,
we prayed for a lot of things.
Direction, guidance, finances, patience were all at the top of our list.
But we knew that in addition we would need an army to stand behind us.
People who would lift us up in prayer and in spirit.
We didn't know anyone who was adopting or had ever adopted
and we begged heaven to send us people to walk this journey with us.

Like He usually does, God gave us more than what we expected.
We didn't know it at the time, but God had formed a small group from our church
that began meeting at our house once a week to decide how to do life;
and how to do it together.

Several months into our meetings, we learned that two other couples
were praying about their roads to becoming families.
Of the four families, only one had kids at the time.

This picture was taken last month at our house.
Every kid in this picture is adopted.
I love watching God work.
We know have to meet at church for small group and hire a babysitter to watch
the EIGHT kids between our five families.

Small group isn't so small any more.

Mar 15, 2012

Love Is Work

I think the biggest lie we tell little girls is that their wedding day is the end and all that lies after is "Happy Ever After".
Don't misunderstand, the wedding to The Hero definitely makes my top 5 days, but happy did not follow us into our days there after.
We married 10 days into December. He was beyond gainfully employed and I had only a few months left of studying until I joined him in the work force. Our future was amazing on paper. Less than one month after our wedding, The Hero's position was terminated. I was only working 15 hours a week as a legal intern, with two months to go before the bar exam; no where near enough income to even pay our house payment. We had known prior to the wedding we'd have to put off our honey moon so I could study for the bar, but now it would be indefinitely.
We were already into the "for poorer" part of our vows. It was no longer the choice of whether or not to eat out, but whether it would be beef or chicken ramen. It wasn't fun, but we were determined to see each other through. Looking back it seems so ridiculous that we were malcontented with our circumstances like we were but it was stressful for a new couple to sit at home every weekend and lament over the pennies we didn't have.
By April, things were looking better. The Hero found a job and I had passed the bar on the first try and making a real salary. A week into that month, The Hero went in for a regular eye exam and was advised he'd have to have major surgery to correct his vision within the month. We had neither the money nor the patience to endure this yet. The Hero was on bed rest for a week and couldn't use his eyes for the following week. I lost my temper a few times and called my mom-in-law in tears more than once. No one told me this part of the fairy tale. He wasn't supposed to be in bed, needy, and depressed. We were definitely in the "for sickness" part of our vows.
Is anyone supposed to go through their entire vows & live them out the first year of marriage?
I grew up watching my father lavish my mother with gifts. Flowers, jewelry and dinners eaten out were all a part of his love language. I expected a man just like my daddy as an adult. It wasn't until my first year of marriage to The Hero, I learned God didn't send me what I expected; I got what I needed. I needed The Heros working approach to our love, because there wasn't any money for gifts even if he had possessed the desire to give them.
The Hero's love language is the other side of love from my father's; The Hero speaks in action. If he never says it again, I'll always know he loves me. It's in the dishes being done, the oil change I forgot my car needed and the calm while I'm being crazy. The Hero loves consistently, always and without fail. It isn't often with great fan fare, but it is always and I know it is to the end.

I babbled a few months ago that I missed being outside, working with my hands; I needed to play in the dirt and watch something grow. Today, I came home to a man covered in dirt, a rented tiler and a plot of dirt perfectly turned over; a place to play and grow, just like where we started from 9 years ago.

A heros love is tangible, dirty and it lasts through hell longer than a vase of dying flowers. And glass slippers don't fare well any where I've ever been.

- Hugs n Love,


Mar 13, 2012

Two Years

Two years ago today, The Hero & I paced our guest house in Ethiopia waiting to meet our kids for the first time. We had no idea what the next few days or even minutes would hold but we knew that there was no going back; that the path we were on was set.
When they opened the gate and led us toward our destiny, we held hands like two nervous kids, excited and terrified all in two breaths.
I'm not sure much has changed in two years. We still have no idea what will come next. And we're still gripping each others hands, but this time we are loving every minute with The Angel & The Dinosaur and believing that whether there are two or ten more kids in our future, we are all in this together.

- Hugs n Love,


Mar 5, 2012

What Started As A Nickname

I would love enough time to start a blog dedicated to nothing more than car rides with The Angel. I'd call it something catchy like Driving My Daisy because picking her up from school everyday is the highlight of the day. She's funny. No, sassy. She's opinionated without being jaded; open minded without being naive.
On school days, she and I have about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time together where she and I talk about whatever crosses her mind. Sometimes it is completely random. But other times, it's as if she has spent days pondering something to ask me about. Like the day we talked about heaven and God and her Ethiopian mommy. She wanted to know what God and her Ethiopian mommy did all day in Heaven. When I told her that they were both watching over us, she stumped me when she asked if they would be happy with us. I told her it was my deepest prayer that the answer was yes. She agreed. Then she asked for ice cream.

I don't mean to post about her more than The Dinosaur. He is crazy and fun beyond words and I swear he has the cutest voice on the planet; but I admire the angel more than probably another person I've ever met. She has a story that inspires me to be a better person and a personality that encourages even the most stodgy of personalities. She laughs when tears would be culturally acceptable and cries because her heart is still that raw and pure.

I expect that the Dinosaur will grow up extremely sheltered, Americanized beyond recognition of his Ethiopian heritage. But The Angel; she remembers. It is the very makeup of who she is and she will accept it all as it comes; because she knows no other way and she would not just accept her past without the determination to change it; it is just not in her DNA. I adore that about her and it is one of many of her qualities I want to replicate.

I was very nervous about our last trip to Ethiopia. One, because I HATE to fly and two, because I had never left either of my children for more than 48 hours in the 18 months we had been together. As we booked tickets, packed bags and made plans, each night I would ask The Angel if she was okay with mom and dad leaving her and The Dinosaur for 10 days. Each time, she would get teary and nod her head. I'd remind her that all she had to say was no and The Hero and I would cancel it all and stay home. She'd smile and shake her head and say "mommy, you are supposed to go".

When I dropped her off at school the morning we left, she had tears in her eyes but she smiled. "mommy, I love you and you are going to have a great time." I have no ideas what I did to deserve such a pipeline to God living in my house, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. She is an inspiration and my encouragement.
She was right about that trip, we were in fact supposed to go and continually, God revealed exactly why and how.

I am surprised at how much of my life I want to control and decide and the most amazing gifts I've ever received is from the things I never had any control over. Tradition and infertility led The Hero and I to believe that family is a matter of genetics. Ha! Genetics is a fairy tale. We are blessed that living under our roof is the two most amazing blessings we would have never known existed until they were put square in our life. Family is defined by love and choice alone.

Thank you Jesus for my Angel. Her nickname began as a way I identified her and now I know that her job was to guide her mommas heart.