Sunday, February 28, 2010

Caleb Goes Cruising!

As you will see from the pictures below, we just returned from the most awesome family vacation! We took a cruise to Mexico for the week! It was a blast! Caleb had the best time and he made many friends on the ship- what a guy! He loved the beach, especially the sand, which he said "tickled" his feet. It was so special for our families to be able to enjoy each others company while visiting such a beautiful place and in such a fun atmosphere- if you haven't gone on a cruise, you need to go !!! I loved watching Caleb experience so many new things- it was a blast! He did great and was such a trooper, even on the long days. Here a just a few of the highlights from our week at sea......

In adoption news, we are scheduled to have our final home study visit this week! Wow- we are still undecided as to what country to go with- yes, I know, we need to decide! We are actually inquiring at this time about a little girl in Thailand. Depending on what we find out, our decision could be made :) If Thailand does not work out, we have opened our hearts to the idea of adopting a boy from Ethiopia, as we were recently informed of the huge need for boys with HIV to be adopted. If we do decide to go that route, we most likely will request a boy younger than Caleb, anywhere from 1-18 months of age. Caleb will be a great big brother no matter what, and we will be a blessed family. The last couple of weeks (minus vacation) have been stressful due to some unexpected news that has made our future less clear than it was before.....but we are so thankful that God is in control, that He has our best intentions in mind, and that most of all He loves us beyond measure!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Treasure Chest Overflowing....

This evening we had our first home study visit! It was exciting to think that we are really beginning the process once again! Our next visit will take place at the beginning of March, and then we will be ready to send it off to USCIS and wait for our approval! In the meantime we will begin working on our dossier. And while we thought we would definitely be adopting again from Ethiopia, a child most likely 1-3, another country and age range has entered the mix- Thailand! Our agency also offers an HIV program in this country, and it is an option we are seriously considering. We are also considering adopting a child that is maybe 4 or even 5. How did this come about? Honestly, we just kind of overlooked this country as an option, but the more we looked into it, the more excited we became. We love Ethiopia and we will never forget this country or the impact it has had on our lives. We also feel that God may be desiring to expand our family not only in number but also in geography :) So, we will just wait and see.....
As we have been trying to seek God's will on which country to go with and what age range to request, I admit, I have been a little anxious and have had some trouble sleeping over this decision. Some very gracious and helpful families discussed with me via email their experience with adopting children in the age range of 3-5. They were so helpful and encouraging! One amazing woman offered this observation- I don't think she would mind me sharing it:
When we sat at the National Adoption Center in Ukraine across from a representative who passed us a 3-inch stack of orphan files, I felt overwhelmed. How would we ever choose a child from all those needing families? Immediately, an image came into my mind: a treasure chest overflowing with jewels of brilliant colors, sparkling and glittering. It was like God said to me, "These are my precious jewels. Just choose one and be blessed."
Wow! This image has caused so much peace to come over me regarding our country and age decision. This wise woman is right- just choose one and be blessed. Amen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is Our Prayer....

About a week ago we had one of the biggest snows we have had in several years! The snow was beautiful. Caleb loved sleigh riding. But it was so cold that the poor little guy was freezing in no time...his long eyelashes were iced over :) It was fun while it lasted!
As we continue to gather the needed paperwork for our adoption, the questions and anxieties of pursuing a child with HIV come and go. At the same time, the Lord continues to remind us of just how much he loves us and that he only wants good for us. His love is amazing! He continues to remind us of his faithfulness and of the fact that we are more than conquerors through Him! He continues to challenge us to live out our faith in a real way and leave the rest to Him.

This song beautifully describes what our prayer to the Lord is at this time- heal my heart and make it up my eyes to the things me how to love like you have loved me.....break my heart for what breaks yours......everything I am for your Kingdom's cause....Hosanna!