Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gratitude

My heart is so full I can hardly hold it in.  One week from tomorrow, we will be in Ethiopia and we will meet our precious baby boy for the first time.  I'm fighting back tears at the thought of it.  And I have such an overwhelming sense of gratitude to God.  That He called us to this journey in the first place.  That He gave me a vision of our son last winter - one that is indelibly etched into my mind.  That He put Billy and I on the same page about this whole thing.  That He has led us this far, so faithfully, even when we have faltered along the way.  That it's been a remarkably easy journey, all things considered.  That, even though our paperwork said we would take children 0-3 yrs old, we have been blessed with a baby (I love babies).  How can we ever thank Him enough for this incredible blessing, this amazing honor to be entrusted with the life and future of this precious child?  I am completely humbled before God tonight.  It is moments like this I am reminded of how very real and present God is in our lives.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trip Preparations

It has been a whirlwind week for us choosing a travel agent, booking flights, researching lodging, finishing up travel vaccinations, purchasing over-the-counter meds & other supplies to take, rounding up donations for the orphanages, making arrangements for Shep's care, etc.  Whew!  

We are REALLY excited about meeting N!  Words just don't do it justice.  We are leaving Saturday, November 6 and returning Friday, November 12.  That means we will spend a full 4 days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital.  We will spend as much time as possible at Layla House with N.  We will also travel an hour or so away to Nazareth, where he was found, just to check it out since it might be his hometown.  He will get to go with us for that trip, which is really cool (a social worker from AAI will be with us, as well).  

Honey & Pop will be staying here with Shep while we're gone.  I'm sure he'll also spend some time with Aunt Jen and his cousins and probably whoever else will take him for a couple hours to relieve his exhausted grandparents!  He will have a blast (at least that is what I'm telling myself to relieve my guilt & anxiety over leaving him for so long).



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

LEAVIN ON A JET PLANE!!!

I'm just a little bit excited to announce that our adoption court dates are November 11th and December 13th! 

Thanks to a recent rule-change in Ethiopia, we are allowed to choose which date we will travel for.  Our agency predicts N will come home sooner if we go to the first court date, so, obviously, that is exactly what we are going to do!  So it's looking like we'll be meeting our son in 2 weeks & 5 days.  Wow.  How beautifully surreal. 
Thank you, Lord. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adoption Made Affordable!

Here is a great post from a blog I follow that describes the new changes to the adoption tax credit.  I have tried to explain it on here before but I didn't do a very good job.  If you have been considering adoption, there is literally no time like the present when it comes to paying for it!  Your adoption could literally be free (like our's).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ode to My Husband

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

"Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" - that was surely the story in every other house.  But in our lamplit home, there was a  nagging little cough that would let no one sleep - not even a wink! 

We tried all we could from medicinals and steam to rocking and singing, pharmacy runs to late-night TV.  We slowly came to realize that there simply would be no rest for our weary little patient (or for us!). 

I found myself soon at my wit's end. I needed more than a break from this dear child.  "If I don't get some sleep, I might lose my mind!," I threatened my kind husband in the middle of the night. 

Without a word of complaint, he was at our son's side.  Then he drove the moonlit streets in hopes of putting a small boy to sleep.  And, glory of all glories, I was left in a quiet house - not a creature stirring, not even a mouse. 

This same noble man rose before dawn and trudged off to work, with nary a concern about his own lack of slumber.  When I offered an apology later that day, he would have none of it.  That's just his way. 

Some would call this little story a mere example of domestic commitment, but I call it LOVE, plain and simple.  Thank you, Dear Husband, for knowing just what I need, just when I need it.  You always save the day.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Romantic Getaway

Billy & I enjoyed a nice, relaxing 24 hrs or so away last week.  We went up to the mountains and stayed in a beautiful Bed & Breakfast.  Our room had its own fireplace, which we kept on nearly the whole time.  It also had a king size bed which we only got out of to go downstairs for dinner and breakfast.  We were very lazy for a change and it was wonderful!  By the next morning, I was really beginning to miss Shep, though - being my first time away from him overnight.  After spending a few hours lurking the shops in Blowing Rock, I was ready to get back to Shep that afternoon. 

Of course he was completely fine - it was me who was having the separation anxiety!  Even though I had a hard time, I'm so glad we went.  Marriage is much more difficult when children enter the picture and we have learned it takes much more effort to keep our relationship healthy.  It really is essential that we spend time alone together besides the usual "put-Shep-to-bed-then-collapse-in-our-bed-and-watch-TV-out-of-sheer-exhaustion" routine, even if it's not as regular as we would like it to be and even if I'm pining for our children the whole time.

Shep & Mom had a great time together while we were gone.  Although it's funny Shep began calling her Mama while we were gone and continues to do so!  Cute yet disturbing to know I'm so easily replaced!  It was good practice for them for the 5-7 day trip Billy & I will be taking this Winter to Ethiopia for adoption court.

Gotta love fall in the mountains
A fancy dinner - so relaxing!
Outside our room - loved all the old wood in this inn (circa 1895!)
Ragged Garden Inn (our Bed & Breakfast)


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whoops & Yay!

Admittedly, I'm not the most tech-savvy person.  But one little mistake this weekend erased ALL my comments from every single post - every single one.  SAD...


On a good note, Billy & I leave tomorrow for our first overnight getaway without Shep since he was born - WOOHOO!!!



Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Summer in Pictures

At New Smyrna Beach, FL with my side of the family
4th of July with my family
My sister-in-law Jen & neice Ailey on 4th of July
Hiking in the TN mountains while visiting Billy's side of the family
Playing in his first waterfall!
Touring Forbidden Caverns with Billy's Mom & family friend Betty
A visit from my long-time best friend Jean
Accepting N's referral!!! (best part of the summer, obviously)
Time with the family at Mom & Dad's
Lots of playing at waterparks
Potty-training (still a work-in-progress)
Visiting our friends, the Harris' in GA
And, last but not least, lots & lots of ICE CREAM!

Goodbye, summer.  We will miss you in a few months but, for now, we're glad to see you go!  
Welcome, Fall!