We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scripture Verse Suday

Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

Growing up, I was raised a Catholic. We were one of the families that went on holidays to church though. Most weekends we were up at our cottage on the lake and Sunday morning as soon as the sun came up, we were playing on the water - - - we were definitely not in church.

I became a Christian when I was nearly 31 years old. It took a move to SC and the help of my church family that got me to consider it. I know God moved in me, but the Body of Christ got me to the right place at the right time, so I was in a position to receive. A position to accept. A position to ask. A position to understand. A position to realize that I even needed something more than I already had. I needed Jesus Christ.

Prior to becoming a Christian, I never really considered whether or not I would go to heaven. I just thought that when I died, that is where I would go. I mean, I wasn't the type of person who would go to hell. I didn't feel I was "hell worthy". I guess I never stopped to consider whether or not I was "heaven worthy". At the time, little did I know, I was not "heaven worthy". I'm so glad that at 31 years of age, I finally stopped and pondered that question as to whether or not I was heaven worthy, because I was not. I still am not, but thank God, Jesus Christ is, and He stands before God on my behalf. What a friend!

I believe that there are many Catholics in the world who are Christians. I'm not saying that you can not be Catholic and be a Christian. I just know that, having been raised in a Catholic church, that getting there is a lot harder. I don't need the priest to get to heaven. I don't need to confess my sins to anyone but God, and the only person I need to go through is Jesus. I don't need the pope. I go straight to the Holy One Himself. The one and only. I don't need to be baptized, although I have been out of obedience. The only thing, the only ONE I need, is the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank God, I am saved. All it takes is faith. Faith in Jesus Christ. I'm not sure I would have learned this lesson in the Catholic church. I truly believed God put me in a place, arranged my circumstances and placed people in my path who would tell me about the truth.

I'm very thankful today for Anna's scripture verse, and what it has meant to my life!

Now a quick update on the home study and the rest of the weekend. The home study went really well. It went LONG, but it went really well. We met our case worker and she was wonderful. Very informative. She was great with the kids. She interviewed Tim and I separately, then each of the kids separately, and then Tim and I together. We had a really great conversation with her. The kids gave her a tour of the house, and then she was on her way. Unfortunately Cameron and Anna missed Cheerleading and football on Saturday due to the home study, but I think the home study was a bit more important.

After the case worker left, we headed out to run a few errands. We stopped at Koh1's and got some super great deals. I had to get some personal things, and had to get Anna some pajamas. Also, while I was there, I wanted to take a look at some water goblets. (By the way, the kids for some reason think "goblet" is a very funny word) We went in the store with a certain amount of cash. As we were walking toward the cashier, I told Tim that it seemed as though it would be more than what we brought in. But if it was, that was fine, because I brought in some extra money in my purse. So, we checked out, and of-course it was over, and I went to get the extra money out of my purse, and suddenly the amount changed to much less than what we originally brought in. The lady behind the counter had a 20% off coupon for the day and she scanned it for us. Cool!!! That was awesome to me!

Today has been pretty relaxing. Tim is out for an evening run. I just finished ironiing both of the kids' uniforms for the week, and now I think it is time to relax.

The cool news on the adoption is that as soon as the home study is done, we will be ready to file the immigration papers. I have nearly everything completed for our dossier, so when the home study is done and we get immigration approval, we will be good for our documents to go to Ethiopia!!!!


Gotta run! Time to relax!

In Christ's love,


Friday, September 25, 2009


I'm a doer!!! And I think I'm close to being done, "doing"! The kids had their physicals today. I got a copy of their immunization records. I got mine and Tim's employment verifications signed and notarized. I got our bank / financial statement notarized. We got fingerprinted this morning and the FBI criminal background check documentation went in the mail today. I'm going to have to look over the home study and dossier checklists again, but I seriously think that all that I have left, uncompleted, is the Immigration approval (waiting on the home study) and the home study itself! WHOO - HOO!!!!

Tim just found Anna's Nintendo DS. We have been looking all over for it. I initially said I was not going to look for it, because I have told her a million times to put it away - somewhere safe. She never does, so I was going to teach her a lesson. Then I felt bad. So, I started to help her look. I couldn't find it, so I gave up. Tim found it in the car under the floor mat. He asked Anna how much it was worth to her, and she said she would give him $1000 for it. Man! I should have looked harder!

Cameron and Anna got some shots today. They got the chicken pox booster and the flu nasal thing. I guess they were really good about the shot. Good for them! That just means that my kiddos are growing up. Thank goodness we have another little one on the way or I might go through withdrawl.

Tomorrow is the home study! Pray that all goes well with that. I'm sure it will be fine. It's just a new agency and not sure how everything will go. I always get nervous and it is never a big deal.

So, now I'm tired. I'm going to relax and watch some television. I'm more of a morning cleaner than an evening cleaner. I'll straighten up in the morning. It will smell fresher then anyway :)

Excitedly in Christ!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Do / Done

Today's done list:
Guardians - confirmed!
References - sent in
School reports - ordered

Tomorrow -
Fingerprints for FBI criminal background check
Cameron and Anna Physicals
Copies made of family pictures

Saturday -

We're getting close!!!!

Cameron had a football game tonight. We watched his B-team game and stayed to watch JV because Tim was working the concession stands. I sat back and watched Cameron play football with his friends on the side yard. I loved watching him interact with them. They were some really good kids.

Anna.... well, everyone loves Anna. Everyone KNOWS Anna. She just has that magnetic personality. Young kids love her, Cameorn's age kids love her, older kids love her, even adults love her. She never met a stranger. She had fun tonight.

Oh yes, and Pearl. She had fun as well. Since we went straight from work to the game, we packed a "picnic" dinner. Sandwiches for everyone, chips and a drink. Well, Anna had a cupcake as well. She ate half of it and then set it on the bleacher. I had taken Pearl over to see a special little boy who really wanted to pet her, and on the way back, we walked past the cupcake and Pearl snatched it up. I dug it out of her mouth, but she got quite a bit of it! So, I guess she had her dessert before she even had dinner. Oh well... it was her first and LAST cupcake!

What a fun day!

In Christ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letter to Sara

I've gone through this letter many, many times in my mind. I did the same thing when I was adopting Anna. I thought through all of the things I wish I could say to her. I never wrote it down with Anna though, and I wish that I had. So, lesson learned, I'm going to do that for Sara.

Dear Sara,

Someday you will be home with us, and the years will pass and you will be old enough to read this on your own. Until that time comes, I will share this dream, these thoughts with you as often as I can, as you go to sleep, as you eat, as we play. I will share with you just how much you are loved and how much you were loved, before we even knew who you were.

I was listening to a song the other day and in it it said how a child is loved and known before they are even born, before they ever "were", they are known and loved by God. Adoption is so much like that. I guess that is why it many times is used to represent God's love for us. We are adopted into his family. He loved us before we even become a part of His family. I bet He waits anxiously for us to accept Him and become part of His family. Just like we are anxiously awaiting the day you become part of our family. With adoption, you are loved before you are known. You are loved for the daughter you will become. You are loved for the person you are - without even knowing who that person is. You may even be loved before you are born. Sure, at that point in time, the parents are in love with an "idea", but that "idea" becomes a person, and for us, that person has become you. You are part of our family already. God left and prepared a place for us. We have a place prepared for you sweet Sara. I think that is what I will call you when you finally arrive. You will be my "Sweet Sara". I truly can not wait for you to get here!

Your dad and I have been waiting and wanting you for a very long time. I would like for you to know that adoption was never a "second chance or second choice" for us. Adoption has always been our first choice. When your dad and I were dating, I talked to him about adoption. I had already adopted your sister Anna, and I asked him if he felt he could adopt her and treat her as his own. He obviously said yes, or we would not be married. He did adopt Anna and he does love her as his own. I also talked to him about the possibility of adopting another child. We immediately started to the process to adopt again, as soon as we could after we were married.

God closed some adoption doors for us. At the time, I was very frustrated and discouraged. But that all changed when we decided that we would try to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. God gave me peace in my heart. He gave me peace with the years and money wasted trying to adopt from other areas. He gave me peace with the time it was going to take to get you home. We had to start the process all over - but something about it was different this time. God, I believe, is involved in this adoption. Any time it takes to go through this process, I'm sure, is His timing. His timing will lead us to you sweet Sara. If it is quick, it is becuase you are already there, waiting for us. If it is slow, it is because maybe you are not even born yet. Who knows? GOD KNOWS!!! I'm counting on Him, because HIS timing is perfect.

It makes me sad, sweet Sara, to know that you will leave a place that you currently call home. It may not be, in my mind, an ideal home for you, but it is still your home. You are spending your time right now getting used to the smells, the sounds, the "feel" of Ethiopia. You are getting used to the taste of food from your home. I will take you from all of that, and I know it will bring a great deal of anxiety to you, and that truly makes me sad. I also know that someday you will realize that you suffered a loss. I'm grateful to know that at least I will be there to go through it with you. I surely won't understand, but I will be there for you. Your dad and I both will be. I know we can never replace the mother that God allowed to carry you, but we can become great parents to you. I hope the love of our family will somehow help soothe the loss in your life. I hope our love overwhelms you and covers you. I hope we make a difference for you.

We will never look the same physically, but you will always be our daughter. We didn't come from the same place, or experience the same things, but you will always be our family. I feel it already. God has plans for you sweet Sara, and I don't know what they are, but they must be great to bring you from all the way across the earth, into our home. We will teach you about the great God that brought this family together. We will teach you how you are ultimately HIS child and not ours. We are just entrusted with you for the time that you are here. Hopefully, during that time, we will have the opportunity to teach you about the God that loves you so much, and that we will be able to experience with you, accepting Christ into your heart. I'm not sure that there could be anything sweeter to a parent than that.

While you wait for us, sweet Sara, I hope that you are happy. I hope you are comfortable, healthy and warm, and that your belly is full. I hope that when you cry at night, that someone hears your cry and looks after you. I hope that when you are hungry you have someone to give you food. I hope that when you are tired, you have a soft, warm place to sleep. When you come home, your dad and I will give you all of these things and more. I will rock you when I feed you. I will give you warm baths and let you play in the tub. Dad tells real good bedtime stories (just ask Anna), so he will do that for you. Don't let him sing to you though, I will take care of that. Dad tries, but he's not the world's best singer :) I'm not either, but again, I try.... I can't wait to take you out in the warm sunshine and play with you in the grass. I can't wait for you to meet your brother and sister, and your step-brothers. I can't wait to take you to church. So many people there are already praying for you sweet Sara. They want you home quickly as well.

I want to brush your hair and make it so pretty. I wonder if you get bows in your hair now. I will put bows in your hair. You will have a closet full of pretty dresses. You will have your very own room - painted by me, with love, with only you in mind. You will have hugs - more than you can imagine. You will have kisses, more than you can count. When you cry at night, you will have a mom and dad to come and soothe you. When you fall and get hurt, we will be there to kiss it and make it better. We will wipe the tears from your eyes. We will never be able to make all of your hurts go away, but we will try with all we have to give you everything we can to make your life good. We will give you a good education, in hopes of a bright future for you. Most important, we will give you family. There is nothing more important than family - a family that includes God!

Your dad and I will do our best to teach you about the country you came from. Some day, we will return to Ethiopia with you. You will see the land you came from, the people who will I'm sure, be so much like you. You will no longer speak the same language and you will have different life experiences, but I'm sure you will sense a connection. I will stand back and watch you in your country, and be blessed that you were brought to us, to our home.

I'm bursting with excitment to get to the point where we know YOU! All in good time though. All in God's time. Until then Sara, I hope you are warm and comfortable. I hope you find things to giggle and coo at. I hope someone teaches you to clap and you enjoy it. I hope as you learn to walk (if you are that old) that you have someone's pinky's to wrap your small hands around while you learn. I hope someone finds time to snuggle precious you every once in awhile. I hope again that your belly if full and you are warm. I hope you learn the warmth of a hug and the look of love in someone's eyes. We can't wait to bring you home. You are loved!

Mom (desperately waiting for God to show us our daughter!)

I forgot....

Yesterday I forgot to be thankful. I remembered today. Please forgive my forgetfulness. I was wallowing in self pity. Today I'm still wallowing, but I'm wallowing with a thankful heart. While I am drowning in work right now, I'm thankful for my job. While I'm barely keeping afloat right now at work, I'm thankful that my team is coming back (soon!!!). I'm thankful for each member of my group. I'm even thankful for those who are not part of my group but who will be returning so I do not have to cover their job!

Last week, I was thinking about the fact that I really need to show thanks more often. I really, truly am thankful for the people who work for/with me. They put in lots of hours and sacrifice time with their family to make sure we can make the medicine that we need to make to save peoples' lives. Especially at this critical time right now, when we are gearing up to supply the world with Tam!flu. They put in long, stressful hours, and I truly am thankful to them.

I have a little surprise for them next week. At our staff meeting, I'm giving them each a gift to share with their family. I thought it would be nice to show my appreciation by giving them something that they could do relaxing with their family. It's only a small token and doesn't compare to what they have given lately, but I hope it will show them that I appreciate them and their time. I got each of them a gift certificate to a nice local restaurant and a gift certificate to the movie theatre. Again, it doesn't compare to what they do for me, but it does show them that I care and appreciate them.

Now, they all need to get back to work! I would apprecaite them even more if they were HERE!

The manager that is out, and one of my people are out in California on an audit of a supplier facility. They were out at the beach/pier yesterday as they got to California early enough and didn't have to audit until today. I think I heard chuckling in the background as I was conveying my string of work questions. They seriously need to come back to work!

I really do appreciate my job and the people I work with. They are great! Sorry I forgot to be thankful yesterday. It's hard to do that from under the covers :)

In Christ (full strength)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Maddening Monday

Not a whole lot to post about today. I'm super tired and ready to go to bed... and it's only 7:23. It has been a LONG day though. Work was very stressful. I have 4 people out today and the manager from another department it out, so I am covering for him as well. It was a day of endless phone calls and decisions to make. My boss is out as well, and tomorrow all these same people are scheduled to continue to be out - and I have an all day, on site conference scheduled, and so do the two other people who work for me. So, my ENTIRE department will be MIA tomorrow. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???? No clue. My guess is, I'll be missing the meeting and covering for 7 people. Oh how I look forward to tomorrow :) (not)

I'm done complaining now. I'm going to go crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head like none of this is happening.

Maybe tomorrow will actually be better!

In Christ, (totally surviving only through Him)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scripture Verse Sunday

Psalms 75:1 - Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks.

This is Anna's scripture verse for the week. Another week of focusing on giving thanks to God for everything. Not hard to do, but many times we forget. Last night was one of those times that I forgot. I have a bit of a story to share, then plenty of pictures to share, so this might be a long post.

Tim and I, but mostly Tim, had a bit of a long weekend this weekend. It was packed with stuff to do, and we were under some time constraints, so we had to get it all done this weekend. We were moving furniture from my mom's house to our house. Then we had given our dining room table and a bedroom set away, and we were helping to get it moved as well.

First, about the dining room set. Trust me when I say that I am SO thankful that I have it. Tim and I had a nice dining room table. I have been on the lookout for a china cabinet and maybe something else to finish off the dining room. For now, it was fine. We had the table and when I came across something, then we would think about either getting it, or changing completely. Well, come to find out, my mom purchased new dining room furniture. She was getting rid of her table, china cabinet and dry sink. Oh... I have been eyeing them up for some time - and I will tell you why. I especially wanted the dry sink and china cabinet, and since the table matches the other two pieces, I was more than happy to have them all.

The dining room table is the table I ate on as a child. When we brought it home and set it up in the dining room, it was strange how all of the memories around the dining room table came back. I remembered where I sat, and where everyone else sat. I remembered sitting directly across from my dad. How I wish I could see him today. How I wish I could share life with him. Anyway, that was the table I ate on for most of my life. And it is in remarkable shape. The china cabinet and the dry sink were my hearts' desire though... why? Because it was my dad's hands that finished them. He took care in staining and finishing both pieces and they turned out beautiful. The table is almost 30 years old and the china cabinet and dry sink are close behind in age. When my mom said she had gotten new furniture and asked me if I wanted this furniture, I was so THRILLED to have it. We went to Georgetown yesterday to pick it up, got it home and all assembled and today Tim is making the trip to drop off our other furniture. It is a very long weekend for him.

Besides dealing with the furniture, we had cheerleading and football yesterday. So, in order for the kids to not miss their first games, we stayed around here in the morning and got off to a late start with the furniture runs in the afternoon.

When we got home with the furniture last night it was around 7:00. I was tired. It had been a very long day and it was getting dark out. We stopped and picked something up for the kids and Tim to eat. I was not feeling real hungry, so I didn't get anything. When we got home, I could see the sun setting by the minute. I knew it would be dark very soon and we had a whole trailer of furniure to unload. All I wanted to do was get the furniture out of the trailer so I did not kill myself trying to help Tim move it. I have nightblindness as part of my eye condition, so when it is dusk, it is like dark to me. Most people can see well beyond when I can, and would wonder why I said I couldn't see at the time of night that I begin to have difficulty. But, I know my limitations.

Tim had been running all day and had not had much to eat and wanted to eat his dinner before he started moving things. I on the other hand knew that if I was going to help move things, that it would have to happen quickly. I was tired and irritated, and frustrated with the fact that I even have this difficulty, and I snapped at Tim. I know I shouldn't have, but I did. I just wanted to be able to help, and I knew my help would be limited later. Not an excuse, but it's the truth. We ended up kind of doing both. We moved while Tim ate. In the end it all worked out and we got everything moved in and the old stuff moved out. Here is a picture of the new dining room furniture. It's a little piece of my dad here with me.

Anna had a great cheerleading day yesterday. It was her first time and she looked so sweet. She cheered at the 9:00 game. Cameron's game was not until 12:00. I had quite a bad headache, so I didn't make it to Cameron's game, which is why I only have pictures of Anna. Tim was there though, and he said Cameron did great. He scored three out of four touchdowns! GO CAMERON! Here's Anna's first cheerleading picture:

Next weekend we have our homestudy. Whoo-Hoo! It will be so nice to get that done! Please pray for our family as we continue down this adoption road. I am so looking forward to our daughter coming home and being with us.

In Christ,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna Clare and adoption update!

Today is the big day. My baby girl turns 6 today! I'm so proud of that little girl. She is such a doll baby! She got up this morning and popped right out of bed. We stopped yesterday at the bakery and ordered cupcakes for her class, so this morning we had to stop and pick them up. She was so thrilled to be taking cupcakes to her class! Tonight we will have a dinner celebration with her - she decided she wanted to go to Olive Garden, so we will take her there. Then we will go home and have some cake and she will open her presents. I hope she loves her gifts! My Anna has been home with me almost 5 years now and what a blessing she has been for those five years! (Since I didn't get to post this until this evening, here are some pictures of the festivities)
Anna's choice for dinner
Anna at Olive Garden
After dinner we went home and Anna opened up her birthday gifts:
It was the year of the barbie for Anna
Barbie's Beach buggy
Pearl wasn't real thrilled with the festivities
Her beautiful church dress (I'll post a picture of her in it soon)
Case to put Barbie, Ken and all of their clothes in.

I think Anna had a really nice birthday.
On another note, we are really moving with regard to our adoption paperwork. I talked to our agency yesterday and asked about scheduling a home study, and they are ready to do it - on September 26th! Just 10 days away! I'm thrilled that they will be able to do it for us so quickly. That will be one more thing out of the way and one step closer to our daughter. We are working on our educational requirements. I bought some books that they suggested would be beneficial for us to read. We will get to reading those. I have to schedule a medical exam for the kids. I'll try to get that scheduled for next week when Tim is taking a bit of time off. We will need to go and get locally fingerprinted, I think. I know we have to do the fingerprinting for immigration approval, but I think we may have to do it locally as well. I will need to check our sheet again. It all seems to be coming together though. Whoo-Hoo!
Also, thanks to our Sunday School teacher, we were able to get in touch with our church missionaries to Ethiopia. They are currently here in SC, but will be going back to Ethiopia in January. How wonderful would it be to get to know them and have a friendly face in Ethiopia? God is good!
In Christian Love,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'm not sure I ever shared on my blog the story of my Anna Clare AiYi Roach. I've been thinking a lot about Anna and how she came to be part of my family. I guess because her birthday is tomorrow. I can't believe that little girl has been part of my life for nearly five years. She started from such small, hopeless beginnings and God has given her a new life! God has given her Hope.

On September 16, 2003 in Yangdong (Guangdong Province) China, a little girl, a princess was born. No one knows her given name, if she was given one. No one truly knows her birthday. What I truly know is that she was born for a reason - to be my daughter - and she is a true blessing.

She was not born into wealth or even anything close to that. She was born and for reasons unknown to any of us, she was left. The reasons for being left can be speculated, however, no one really knows. I'm not going to share where she was left, because that is not important, and quite frankly, it's Anna's story. But, she made it to the Yangdong Police Station adn from there, made it to the Yangdong orphanage.

The workers there guessed that she was just two days old when they took her into the orphanage. I have a picture of Anna from that very time. I know it was from when she was very new, because she still has her little, black-haired, cone-shaped head. I can tell it is her by the shape of her lips and by her bright, big eyes. What a sweetie.

About the same time as she was entering the orphanage, I was getting paperwork ready. I was a single mom, with at the time, a 4 year old little boy. I truly believe a seed was planted in my heart years and years ago, and God grew that seed. Right after I became a Christian, it burst into fruit. He made it so I could go! I got my home study ready and got immigration approval. My dossier went to China and was logged in on Feb. 10, 2009.

It was difficult to wait for my little girl's referral, but compared to the wait now, it was a very miniscule amount of time. On July 30, 2004 I received the referral of Dong Ai Yi. A beautiful 10 month old little girl. When I saw her picture the first time, I cried. She was sweet! She was beautiful!

On October 4th, 2004 I boarded a plane and traveled to China, with my then 5 year old in tow. We met Anna on October 8th, 2004 and had our Forever Family adoption day on October 9th, 2004. We were a family of three.

Anna has changed so much over the course of those years. One thing that has never changed though is her stong will and stubborn personality. Boy did I get the right little girl! She remains a beautiful little girl, both inside and out. She has a sweet spirit and a very generous heart.

Anna has also been blessed with a wonderful dad, and Tim has been blessed by her. She is loved beyond measure.

Since this is my week to make a conscious effort to remember to give thanks, I'll do that here. I thank God for Anna. I thank God for how she came to be part of my family and how He knew she would be mine before she even was. I'm thankful that there was never a time when she was truly alone. She may have been without a mother for a period of time, but she always had a Father - God was always with her. I'm thankful to China for allowing me the opportunity to adopt this little girl. I'm thankful to God for giving me the finances that allowed me to bring her home. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share the gospel with her and raise her and educate her in a Christian environment. One day I hope I have the opportunity to be thankful for the fact that Anna has asked Christ into her heart. I'm thankful for Anna's birthmom - that she chose to allow Anna life, rather than choosing an alternative end.

Happy Early Birthday Baby Girl!

Mom and Dad! (and Cameron too!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scripture Verse Sunday

So... every week Anna has to learn a new bible verse. That means, every week, I need to learn a new bible verse. Scripture memorization comes easily to Anna. If she just concentrates, she can learn her verse (and remember it) in just one day. I try to break it down for her. Into three word phrases, something rhythmical, anything that will help her remember it. For a small child, bible verse memorization is important. It helps plant the seed that will grow into good choices later on in life. Hopefully, with the help of parents, those seeds will root deeply in the heart of your child. Later in life those roots will spring forth fruit - if the soil is tended. So, thankfully, Anna has to learn a bible verse a week. That in turn means, I too learn a bible verse a week. For me, it is memorizing it so I can ask Anna about it wherever we are. In the car "Anna, what's your bible verse". On the football field "Anna, what is your bible verse?" While doing her hair in the morning "Hey Anna, how about that verse of yours?". But I realized, that even as I have to do this to assist Anna, I can get so much more out of it than just a short verse to remember for a week until we move onto the next one. Not that I don't remember them, but I don't meditate on them. Why not?

So, I thought a good way for me to do this, would be to have Scripture Verse Sunday. Anna gets a new bible verse every Wednesday and has to recite it by the following Wednesday. So, obviously by Sunday, I have memorized the verse. Why not spend some time thinking about it. Really trying to understand what God wants me to do with it, instead of just reciting and helping Anna get a good grade. Further, I could discuss it with Anna as we do her hair in the morning, instead of just having her recite it. (we have MANY a good discussion over braids in the morning. From becoming a "new man" to explaining how Jesus got from the cross to heaven and is alive again). Truthfully, I love taking a bible verse and applying it to my life. Applying it to the lives of my children... and I LOVE writing about it.

So, let's start with this week and I'll post a new one every Sunday. This weeks' verse is

Psalms 118:1 - O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.

Memorized it.... now what do I do with it? Put it to good use, I say. We were discussing bible reading and memorization in Sunday School class today. Reading the bible and memorizing verses is all well and good, but the only thing that really counts, is God's Word in action. So, what does "Action" mean for this verse. What does ACTION mean for me with regard to this verse.

I need to take more time to be thankful to the Lord for all He has given me. I am not thankful enough for all I have, all I have the opportunity to experience, and for all He has done for me. I think I have said it before, that I tend to share the woes of my life. I spatter in a joyful burst here and there, but normally I move past those quickly and the bad stuff stays with me for awhile. God gave me all of it though. Good experiences, bad experiences. Some of it was brought on by myself and He allows me to travel through it. It's a consequence of my wrong choices.

God is good. Always. No matter what. No matter how difficult my circumstance. No matter how good my circumstance. God is always there, and God is always good. I ought to thank Him more. For everything. For my salvation. For His SON. For the fact that He loves me. For the fact that He is good and that He does not change.

I need to come into His presence with Thanksgiving in my heart and enter His courts with Praise. I don't do that. I cut to the chase. I figure "God knows I love Him and all that stuff. I don't have to say it. Let's just get to where we need to be in the discussion". What if I approached it a different way. What if I approached God with so much thanksgiving and praise that MAYBE, just maybe, sometime if I got around to it, I would then ask Him my petitions. I need to approach my God in that manner.

So, in terms of this week - my week to live out "O give thanks to the Lord for He is good" - what is that going to look like? It will be an intentional remembering of everything I have and all that I am thankful for. It would be remembering that even though I have a terrible eye condition - I'm not left alone. It's thanking God for carrying me through this far and leaving me for now, with the sight I have. Thanking Him for showing me that He will carry me, even when I feel like I can't deal with another change in my sight. Thanking Him for this adoption journey. Two years and two countries unsuccessful, but He changed me in the process. Oh how He changed me.

Maybe I will update you on "Want Not Wednesday" of how my Scripture Verse Sunday in action has been going. It's easy to say on a Sunday evening, sitting in front of the computer how I will be thankful all week. It's another story when we have a Monday workday, a Tuesday full of evening practices, Anna's birthday on Wednesday, Thursday football games, Friday children pick ups, and looking forward to a Saturday and Sunday of being on the road both days. Still, I need to find time to Thank God for all He is. God is Good.

I have an interesting story to share tomorrow. I have challenged myself - and God was involved. I will share how tomorrow.

On one final note - I'm so excited about the thought of my Sara Joy! I'm thankful to God for leading us to Ethiopia - to our daughter - Sara Joy!

In Christ,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Birthday Celebration

Oh what a wonderful day we had today. We actually slept in a little bit. Til about 7:00 which is major sleeping in for me and Tim, and slowly got up. Tim went out and went running and I hung out here with the kids and got ready for our day.

First we tackled our Saturday "to do" list as far as shopping. We had a bit of running around to do, but we seemed to get it done in record time. I was due for my "new every two" phone replacement, so we stopped at Ver!zon and picked out a new phone for me. I really needed a new one, because mine was becoming more and more difficult for me to read. The letters/numbers were just too small. This one Tim helped me pick out and it has a nice, big touch screen on the outside, with large numbers that appear when you dial the phone, and on the inside is a full keyboard and a nice large screen as well.

Then we ran to H0bby L0bby and got four more picture frames for our family pictures.

Then it was off for the big shopping of the day. Tim and I had decided to move Cameron's twin bed with trundle and two dressers into Sara's room, and get him new full-sized furniture. He's 10 and will soon be in need of a bigger bed, so rather than buy two, one now and one later, we just decided we would move his to Sara's room. It's not boyish or anything, so it will look nice with a beautiful, girly beadspread and curtains. And the furniture is only a few years old and in VERY good condition.

So, off furniture shopping we went. The first two places we went, we had no luck with. Then we went back to the place I got Cameron's furniture (the stuff we are moving to Sara's room) and they were SO helpful and found us EXACTLY what we wanted! So, we ordered that and we should have it here shortly, and I will get to move everything over to Sara's room!!! It will be so cool to have furniture in there. I'll get everything ready and then we will be just waiting on our little girl! My goodness I can't wait to have her home!
Tim and I did a little bit of work around the house and had just kind of a lazy day.

We decided to have an early birthday party for Anna this weekend. We were going to have my mom and Denis here with us, but they were unable to make it. So, we just celebrated on our own. My mom and Denis sent Anna a gift, so she we let her open that tonight after dinner and she will open our gift for her on her actual birthday. Her birthday is Wednesday, and our weeks can be very hectic, so we thought we would have a little celebration while we had a little more time to celebrate! Here is her cake and opening her gift from my mom and Denis. She got a beautiful dress from my mom and Denis. We will have to get a picture of her in it when she wears it to church tomorrow.
So, we are getting more and more ready for Sara. Until then, we are celebrating life along the way as we wait.
Happy Birthday Baby Girl! I'll have a special post just for you on your birthday!
Love in Christ,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Want Not" Wednesday

Wednesday is hump day for the work week. It is a hard day to get over, and it is especially hard for me to day as I am feeling terribly under the weather. Uuugghhh! I think I'm actually on the hump of getting over my sinus/cold/cough thing though. So, all is good. Anyway, as Wednesday's are typically difficult for me, I decided Wednesdays need to be a day when I intentionally focus on the positive things in my life. Like I could go on and on about how terrible I feel, but that will likely just make me feel worse and make me feel sorry for myself. Many people have "Thankful Thursdays", but I decided I needed it on Wednesday, and all I could come up with is "Want Not" Wednesday. I'm sure I can do better. When my head clears of the congestion fog, maybe I'll actually come up with something better. But for today, it is

Want Not Wednesday

While I am feeling under the weather, I have much to be thankful for. But today, I'm going to concentrate on ONE thing (as there are MANY Wednesdays in a year - I can save some for later!). My Want Not Wednesday has to do with a new friend that I made. There is a bit of history to the story, so I will tell that as well.

I have been struggling with Sunday School. It is a selfish struggle, but I just have not been able to feel a true "part" of our Sunday School class. So much so that I have talked to Tim about the possibility of moving on to another class. We decided we would take some time to pray about it though before we made that decision. I just didn't feel as though I made a connection with anyone in that class. If something were to happen, I'm not sure I would even feel comfortable going to someone from my class and talking to them. I just have no established relationships. I know a lot of it is my fault... I'm not real comfortable making small talk with strangers and am even more uncomfortable walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation. So, we were considering moving to another class.

Well, last week Tuesday, Anna had her first Upward Cheerleading practice. That same night, Cameron was asked to play flag football as well as tackle, because they needed more kids in his grade for the flag football team. I decided to leave it up to him whether or not he wanted to play. He said he did, and I'm so glad that he did. That same night, after Anna had cheerleading practice, Cameron had flag football practice. Tim volunteered to help coach Cameron's team.

Well, as we were sitting watching Cameron practice football, a lady came up to me. I knew I ecognized her, but I didn't remember from where. She said hi, and sat down. She said she was in our Sunday School class, but couldn't remember my name. Well, we got to talking, and she and her husband were in the same situation we were in. They were considering moving to another class. Well, come to find out, her husband was helping coach the football team as well, so he and Tim were out on the field getting to know each other. "H" and I hit it off really well. We ended up laughing so hard the entire time. She was a trip. We had so much in common. We talked about family, children, schedules, interests, etc. She was very easy to talk to. Tim said her husband "N" was real nice as well. So, after practice, we went out separate ways. We didn't get to see them at Sunday school on Sunday as we were traveling.

Well, last night H and I met up again at the football field. It was so nice to see a friendly face there, and spend some time laughing with a friend. We really do have so much in common. Her sense of humor is very simiar to mine. I told her of some things I was doing around the house, furniture I was working on, rooms I was painting and things like that. We got a good laugh out of using spray paint in the garage. We've both done it - and felt the effects of it! I found H to be very down to earth. She seems to be a great Christian lady....someone who was able to maintain a great sense of humor and the ability to laugh at herself after becoming a Christian. She talks about the faults in her family and laughs about them. We share our stories and laugh together. Some people are just very uptight after becoming a Christian... like you can't have any fun anymore... like you can't admit any faults in your family. We talked about getting our two families together. They have three children (12/8/4). Cameron and her son play flag football together so they know each other. I think they would have a great time together. We will definitely need to get together with them.

Isn't it interesting how God plants people in your life at just the right time? Right when you need them for a bit of encouragement? Right when you need them for friendship and fellowship? Me, Tim, H and N were in SS class together, but never really got to know each other. Cameron at the last minute decided to play flag football and ended up on H's son's team. Our families seemed to need encouragement from one another at the very same time, and in my mind, only God brought our families together. I am so thankful for the friendship that seems to being formed between our families. The best part for me is... H knows all about Pearl. She sees her in SS every Sunday and I don't have to explain that whole issue to her. To me that is such a relief. She is supportive of that situation, she is encouraging in our adoption journey, and she is just all around a positive friend.

That is my "Want Not Wednesday" story for today.

PS - any ideas for a special birthday gift for a special soon to be six year old little girl? Anna turns six next week and I'm not sure what to get her. I want her to just LOVE it. Ideas appreciated!

In Christian Love,


Monday, September 7, 2009

Wedding pictures

I got to see my sister this Labor Day weekend! It was great! I don't get to see my sister, Robb and her kids all that often, and it is rare that I get to see them all together. Sometimes Anita will come to SC with one or all of the kids, and sometimes they come as a whole family, but I usually don't get to spend a whole lot of time with them. It was a great time. I got to spend some times with my nephews which was really nice, and Cameron and Anna got to spend some time with their cousins. They had a great time together. Cameron and Blake, my sister's youngest son, had a wonderful time together. We are hoping to get Blake for awhile during the summer next year so he and Cameron can spend some fun time together.
My cousin David was getting married, and he and Elizabeth asked Anna to be their flower girl. So, we met up in Chicago for the wedding. It was a whirlwind trip and there wasn't a whole lot of relaxation associated with it, but it was fun. Anna did a great job and looked beautiful! Here is a picture of her and the beautiful bride.

Here's a picture of Anna in the flower garden and one with my cousins Erin and Jessica.

The wedding is beautiful, and I'm so happy for David and Elizabeth. I think they will be very happy together! Elizabeth is a very sweet girl, and David has always been a great young man.

The trip was a bit eventful, but it all worked out. We were to leave Friday morning at 10:00 for the airport, and Cameron woke up that morning with what appeared (and turned out to be) pink eye. We had to get him to the Urgent Care center in time to get an antibiotic and get the Rx filled and get on our way to the airport. We managed, but it was close. While we were on the plane, Cameron was so conjested, he almost got sick. It took us two hours to get 20 miles from the airport, so we missed the rehearsal, but made it to the dinner. Like I said, the wedding was beautiful.

Now we are back home and getting ready for another work week. Thank goodness we had the holiday weekend, because we need the recovery time! I ended up getting sick while I was there and am feeling really under the weather today. It's nice not to have to be in work today.

Adoption update: Tim and I were approved by our new agency and turned our homestudy documentation in. We should be able to set up our home study here shortly. I'm gathering all of the dossier documents, so by the time our homestudy is done, I'll likely be ready with our dossier documents. We will have to wait for immigration approval, but then we will be ready to go. I'm hoping that within three months, we will have everthing ready to go. I guess I will set the target though for the first of the year. That should be realistic. Here's to hoping that everything moves quickly. We are ready for our Sara Joy to come home! We are going to start looking for furniture soon for Cameron's room. We have decided to move all of his furniture into Sara's room (since we were thinking about getting Cameron a full sized bed anyway). She will have a twin bed with a trundle. We will get her a new comforter and curtains and things like that. It just made sense to give her Cameron's furniture. It is only a couple of years old and looks like new. It will be cute in her room (and will fit her room well) with a nice girly bed spread. It will be nice. I'll keep posting pictures as we go.

Next weekend.... Anna's birthday! Not sure what to get her yet, so I guess I better start thinking hard about that!

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day!