Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garage Sale

Next weekend (Friday and Saturday) is our first big garage sale. We'll open our doors (gate!) at 9:00 a.m. and close at 3:00 p.m. each day. Tell all your friends, acquaintances, anyone you meet. We've had some great stuff donated and LOTS of it! THANK YOU to all of you who donated or are planning to. We'll take stuff up to the last minute and are just overwhelmed with how kind people have been to donate. The younger kids are going to have a lemonade/sweet tea/Ethiopian coffee and cookie stand too. They are soooo excited to have this opportunity to raise funds for their air fare.

Round one of the home study is complete - round two is tomorrow. I made a good dinner and we ate together and had a lengthy discussion on the potentialities of some adjustment issues and difficult children, etc. A lot of worst-case scenario conversation. I feel a weird sense of relief talking about that. Maybe because there is so much information on orphans and adoption that leads you to believe it will all be wonderful and amazing when you rescue this child. I firmly believe it will be wonderful and amazing and oh boy, I cannot wait. But, being a mom to seven, I'm also a realist. :-) Talking realistic talk makes me want to take a deep breath and relax. I can do real. I can do hard. I really don't do pretend very well. Too much pressure.

Tomorrow is the one-on-one with the kids - this should be good - and then Rob and I meet with our caseworker separately. Once this is complete, assuming it will be a favorable study, we can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Then it's back to the paper chase and waiting on Immigration so we can complete our Dossier and get it sent on to the Ethiopian government. We're eager but also thankful for the time to spend with Georgia in her baby phase. She is so sweet right now.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home Study

We have the remainder of our home study Friday night and Sunday afternoon. We would love your prayers for these two days. Pray our younger ones BEHAVE (I won't mention a certain four year old, but he knows who he is!). The first evening will be mostly Rob and I so we're hoping for kids who are quiet, well-behaved, sweet, normal, not-bickering, love my sisters and brothers . . . you get the point! Again, I say, PRAY. :-)

Sunday will entail our case worker talking with each child individually. Again, a certain four year old needs your prayers. I think I heard him say something like, "I don't want no orphan babies" to his sister last week. Note the grammar. He told me this week, "I want a girl orphan baby and a boy orphan baby." Oh please let that be that boy who shows up Sunday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Worth every 67 minutes

David Platt, the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, has been a favorite of ours for a long time. He lays it out there and leaves you unable to remain neutral. You either love his message, or hate it - want to rise up or sit down, cover your ears and pretend you didn't hear it.

This is from his "Radical" Series. All of the sermons in this series are excellent.

The Gospel Demands Radical Giving - David Platt from Together for Adoption on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Traditions

We started a new tradition in our house this Easter weekend. Since the kids love hands-on learning, we decided to try this project. (A big thanks to one of my bloggy friends!)

First, we took an egg and talked about how it symbolizes new life - how we have new life in Christ if we believe. This was an 'aha' moment - as in, "so this is where that whole Easter egg thing came from." We took the eggs we had dyed earlier in the week and talked about their different colors, the way each one cracked differently and then about how each one of us is made one-of-a-kind by God, in His image, and how He takes delight in each of us. They thought it was pretty hilarious coming up with what made each sibling special. Lets just say there is some real talent in this family. Talent even I didn't know about. :-) Then we read Zephaniah 3:17 - "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

He DELIGHTS in each one of us. He REJOICES over us with singing. I love that.

Then, we had a great discussion about us - people - and how our hearts are filled with YUCK (sin). We cracked some eggs and played in the goo and noticed how the egg is also filled with YUCK (yolk!). The good news? Even in our "yuck", God still loves us. We read Romans 3:23 and then 5:8 and learned that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." We had a great discussion about Christ's sacrifice and what it was for. It's pretty amazing how children 'get' that so much more clearly than grownups sometimes.

Then, we poured melted wax into the empty egg shell (I put a wick in each one first). We talked about how God fills us with his Holy Spirit when we believe and how he fills us with JOY too. How he came to give us new life and how he wants us to spend time with him each day by praying and reading his word. Ava read Romans 12:2 - "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and aprove what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

After that, we took a break, had a snack and watched some Butler basketball! (We had to give the wax time to set up.)

Later that evening, we came back together to light the candles. Eliza read John 8:12 - When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Then, Olivia read Matthew 5:14-16 - "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

It was pretty amazing to see those little eggs, filled with wax and burning in the dark room. I have to say, it was one of the most poignant Easters ever for me. Such a simple way of describing the gospel. A priceless moment seeing those sweet little faces glowing in the candle light.

I hope all of you had a great Easter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Something to Think About

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him." --Derek Loux

New Jewelry Designs

These are the fundraising necklaces I've designed for our adoption. I'm also very willing to customize and put any photo(s) and/or sayings you'd like in the pendant. They would make a great mother's pendant with baby's photo one one side and name and birth date on the back. If you're interested in a custom pendant, leave me a note in the comments section and I'll get back to you. All I need is a photo sent via email and the text you'd like on the back. These are 1"x1" glass pendants with a silver solder frame, made by me. Cost is $25.00 each. They come with a 'dog tag' type chain. These are water resistant, but not waterproof and should not be worn while bathing or swimming. :-)