Monday, January 28, 2008

Another hilarious dream... (LONG)

Last night I had another Ethiopia dream, sillier yet than the last one. My dream started in the airport at Ethiopia. I was astonished at being there, because my husband and I have not yet gotten our Hepatitis or yellow fever vaccinations. I kept saying, "We don't have our shots yet! We can't be in Ethiopia!" My hubby told me that we could get our yellow fever shots at the airport. (???) Our 2 girls were with us at the airport, while we stood in line to get our yellow fever shot. We stood in a place that looked like a lab of some kind, where they processed specimens of people who were being tested for yellow fever. (So, the place was crawling with yellow fever germs.) All of a sudden, I saw the girls running through the lab, knocking over specimens and playing among the germs. Rachel actually had a germ-infested cotton ball in her mouth, chewing on it! Of course I freaked out.

My hubby seemed to disappear from the dream at this point, and my girls seemed unusually uncontrollable (which is not typical of them in real-life). They actually bolted off from me and got on an elevator, and started going "up"... without me. I kept thinking, "How am I going to find them in this airport?!? I don't know anything about this airport and I'm in a completely foreign country!" Thankfully, one of my daughters showed back up, and then after a little more frantic waiting, the second one returned to me.

I came to a really busy hallway in the airport, where it looked like there were a lot of adoptive parents coming to meet (and claim) their adopted children for their "gotcha day". Some woman put two babies in my arms, and it seemed foggy, so I didn't really look at their faces well. (My hubby was still MIA at this point... ) I went to the airport restroom so I could see their faces better in the light, and realized that one of the babies was not mine! Simbona was in my arms, but another boy baby was in the other arm, and he looked so sick that he was near death. His eyes looked dried up and he was laying lethargically in my arm. "Where's Sena!?!" I shrieked. I just kept thinking that I couldn't show my husband that I got the wrong baby, or he'd come unglued! I tried to nurse the sick baby, and happily, he did. When I was done, he seemed to be much healthier. "Good! Now Kevin won't be mad at me!" I thought.

The girls continued to be as naughty as possible, running off from me and going every direction. "I can't do this by myself!" Hubby was nowhere to be found.

Fast forward - Kevin and I seem to be touring Ethiopia, and are on a sight-seeing excursion (with the babies) to a beach. (The girls are missing from this scene, this time.) So, Kevin and I are riding on this speed boat to an area in Ethiopia where we can enjoy some beach time... the whole time I'm trying not to let the babies fly out of my arms and into the ocean (because of course, there are no child carseats in speed boats!) We get to the beach, enjoy our time, and then I get back in the boat and we go back to our point of origin. I suddenly realize, KEVIN IS NOT WITH US! He must have gotten left back at the beach! AUUUGGGHHH! Now, how am I going to find him in this foreign country, when I don't know how to get around and don't know the language!?!?

Fast forward again, to the next scene - I'm riding in a sports car, with the two babies in my arms. I'm assuming that we are driving to the beach area, where Kevin is stranded... I look over, and my NINE YEAR OLD SON IS DRIVING! I look up, and I see an intersection of the highway that we are coming up on, and it looks as though he is getting ready to take the exit leading to Iraq. "Whoa! Hold on!" I jump in the driver's seat and do an incredibly illegal U-turn, (not really sure where I'm going, but I am sure that it's not Iraq!)

Well, that's the end of the dream. I'm not sure how it all ends. Does Kevin get home to the US with his loving wife and two new babies? Do the two girls get left in the Ethiopian airport? Will I go back to Ethiopia and get Sena, and exchange the wrong baby? Tune in next week, for the next episode of "Crazy Dreams of Our Lives".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to you, Simbona!

Today Simbona turns one year old. Oh, how I wish he could be home so that we could celebrate this special milestone with him! No one in the orphanage probably will even acknowledge his birthday today. Not that he would even understand, but I love making a big deal out of birthdays. :)

So, Simbona, whatever you are doing at this moment, just know that your forever family in Oklahoma love you and are praying for you today, on your special day... January 24.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our God is an AWESOME God!

Well, I have two fabulous miracles today to speak in praise about! We serve a great and MIGHTY God!

First, Erin has had absolutely terrible athsma. Last night, she barely slept because she was coughing so much. Today, we had to miss church because she was doing so poorly. We had family worship today at home instead. Poor thing couldn't even sing because she was coughing so much.

So, after family worship, Ryan, Keaton, and I laid our hands on her and prayed over her. I quoted from Isaiah where it says that Jesus took up all our infirmities on Himself, and that He was stricken by them (this is a poor paraphrase). My dear friend Charlotte keeps telling me that we can pray in faith that God will heal our sicknesses, and I just never believed that this could happen in my home. (Sure, I believed that He could do miracles in YOUR home, but it just didn't seem possible that He would do those types of things for ME.) But, friends, let me tell ya... He did a miracle today! :)

After we prayed for her, she went to sleep for about two hours and woke up a different kid. She was hungry (she hadn't eaten for about 12 hours), she drank hot liquids, and looked altogether 100 percent better! She is still coughing (just a little), but the Lord definitely worked a miracle in her little body! I am in such extreme awe, because usually when her athsma gets this bad, nothing but a day or so on steroids makes her feel any better. Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayer, even though my faith is no greater than a mustard seed!

Secondly, I have a dear friend who is adopting a sweet baby girl from Ecuador. My friend has severe varicose veins in her legs, and needs surgery. They are a threat to her health, because the clots in her legs could go to her heart, causing serious problems! She wanted to postpone the surgery because of the cost. (Just like a momma... putting herself last so she could save her dollars to use towards bringing that baby home from Ecuador!) But, she and her husband prayed about it and decided that the surgery was a necessity. Long story short, God blessed this dear family by providing an extra $1200 in her husband's paycheck... Just the exact amount that my dear friend needed to pay upfront for her surgery! How could anyone say that God doesn't exist? He answers our prayers lovingly and SPECIFICALLY! I am thanking Him for graciously providing for my dear friend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The following letter was posted by Merrily Ripley, from Adoption Advocates, International:

We heard today that a family was not allowed to proceed with the adoption of a child from Ethiopia because someone saw a picture of the child on the family's blog and reported it to the Embassy (probably the Ethiopian Embassy but I am not sure on that.) Evidently the blog was raising money for the adoption and that was an issue as well. This was not through our agency, we have always cautioned families not to post photos of their referred children until after things are final in court. But I am concerned because any negative regarding adoption can hurt us all. So, please be cautious.

adoptionadvocates. org

Because of this, I am going to be removing the precious pictures of our sweet babies until our court date is final. Sorry! If you want to see pictures, please see me and I will be happy to show them off!

Is that crickets I hear chirping?

You know, in the movies, when there is a scene where it is supposed to be really quiet, and for emphasis they play a sound byte of crickets chirping in the background? Well, that's what I feel like is going on right now. We haven't heard anything in regards to our adoption in what seems like forever. I am a "doer". I feel like I should be "doing" something to help facilitate this process. I'm kind of missing the paperwork stage of the adoption, because at least then I felt like I was "doing" something to accomplish a goal. Well, until the next time I hear something new regarding the adoption... Chirp, chirp, chirp.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Are you sure we were approved???

No one better let our homestudy worker get ahold of my blog address, otherwise, she may decide to nullify our approval! We strive to have fun in our household. Just thought you might want to see the ways we choose to do it...

Words meant for me

At a ladies' fellowship at my church, we were in a "round table" discussion, and the topic of our family's adoptive process came up. My dear friends shared some words of practical household wisdom regarding adding two small babies to our home. After the night was coming to a close, one of my friends, Shirley, approached me to give me some words of encouragement. She told me that she knew a quote that would encourage me:

The will of God will never lead you where the Grace of God cannot keep you.

Another sweet friend of mine, Teresa, told me that the quote Shirley had spoken was one that was dear to her heart, too.

Teresa gave me a darling little plaque at church the next Sunday that had that same quote on it. She told me later about a inspiring story regarding that plaque. Prior to the ladies' fellowship, she had travelled to Edmond to a bed and breakfast to purchase a gift certificate. She felt the need to look around in their gift shop before she left. She found the plaque in the store and felt like the Lord was telling her to purchase it for someone. So, she obeyed. After the night of the ladies' fellowship, she realized that it was for me that God asked her to purchase the plaque. Isn't He just the sweetest Person? He uses my friends to bless and encourage me! Thank you, Teresa and Shirley for being the vehicle He used to bless me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

God whispers

God is SO good at the art of encouragement. As I've said before, I have times where I start trusting in my own power to make it through mothering two new babies. He lovingly and mercifully sends me little messages throughout each day to remind me, yet again, that HE is the One who will provide all that I need to do what He has purposed for me. The only requirement on my part is, to LISTEN for his little whisperings throughout each day, and TRUST that He will enable me to do immeasurably more than all I've asked or imagined (Eph. 3:20).

One day, as I was reading a daily devotional (My Utmost for His Highest), and the reading was absolutely aimed at encouraging me. It was a lesson on Abraham. He "went out, not knowing where he was going" (Heb. 11:8). The devotional goes on to say: 'There is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. (i.e., WHY are you adopting two babies?) One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, "What do you expect to do?" You don't know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. God never tells you what He is going to do. He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you "go out" in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?' God has told Kevin and I to "go" to Ethiopia and bring back two of his dearly beloved babies and provide them with a loving, Christian home. Dare we not be obedient?

On another day, I attended a ladies' fellowship at my church. We watched a video entitled "Reclaiming God's Plan for Women", featuring Above Rubies' founder, Nancy Campbell. The entire segment was about adoption! Apparently, she is very active in facilitating adoptions for the orphans in Liberia. Her own daughter, Serene, who already had four children of her own (and was pregnant with the fifth, I believe), felt God's calling to adopt from Liberia. They had chosen two children to adopt. Serene stayed in the US while her husband travelled to Liberia to pick up the children. While he was there, he fell in love with another baby, and called her up and asked if she would consider adopting her, too. Serene agreed. But, when the husband and three children were about to leave Liberia, they discovered that the two siblings had a fifteen year old sister in need of adoption, too. "What do we do now, God?", she asked herself. "I am only 29 years old and my oldest child is only 7. How can I adopt a teenager? I'm only a young mother. I can't possibly...."

Well, the end of the story is: Serene and her husband adopted all four children and they doubled their family overnight. She once had four small children; they doubled their family size to 8 immediately. She now says that she couldn't imagine her life without them all. What an encouragement to a mother (ME) who is contemplating the ability to mother two more. :) There is no way that Serene could accomplish the task of mothering without reliance on and the empowerment from her Heavenly Father.

Thank you, Father, for always having the right words at the right time!

TWO babies?!?!?!?

During the course of this adoption process, whenever I have told my friends or family that we are adopting, they have reacted with surprise. And when we go on to tell them that we are adopting TWO babies, they always seem to respond with something like, "Are you crazy?" or, "That's insane!" (that one was from my dear pediatrician) or, "WOW! You're going to be really busy!" Even friends of mine who have more than six children of their own have uttered, "Wow" in surprise.

Now, to those friends and family who may have had reactions similar to this (and there are many of you sweet things out there :), I am not trying to make you feel guilty or tell you that I am upset by this. I am not surprised by your reaction at all. We expected our loved ones to be surprised and amazed. God has called us to do a mighty work for Him through this adoption. And, God has a tendency to cause surprise and amazement in people. ;)

I have to admit to you, that I have had my share of doubts about our calling to adopt two babies at one time. Those of you who know me, know that I have a tendency to be a "worry wart" (as Debbie coined it). I worry only because I place myself in the driver's seat of my life, and I forget that God is in control. However, I have found that I am not alone. There are several people in God's history who were called out of their comfort zones to do something mighty for Him.

One in particular was Moses. He had doubts about God's calling him to the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. After all, he was not a great orator. "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?", he asked. Yet God empowered him to approach Pharaoh and he led the people out of Egypt.

I want to be like Samuel. When God called him, Samuel heard His voice and he replied, "Here I am". Kevin and I have said "Here we are" to God's call. We want to be used to do His mighty works. It will not be ME that is successful at mothering these babies. Not at all. It will be the provision of God's grace that empowers me to do a work that could not at all be done in my own strength.