Monday, April 27, 2009

Home for Four Months.....And Meeting Steven Curtis Chapman!

Let me explain this picture ....this is Pooh's position at every meal- he stares at the floor directly under Caleb's high chair, just waiting for the tiniest crumb to drop :) He hardly even looks up any more!

Caleb's first mowing experience with Pap....

As you can see, it was quite exhausting :)

Fun in the tub!
Our Family after 4 Months Home!!
Last night Zack and I had the amazing privilege of volunteering for Show Hope (a ministry of Shaohannah's Hope, founded by the Chapman family) at the United Tour featuring Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. Show Hope is a sponsorship program that funds an amazing special needs medical facility for orphans in China and helps to give financial assistance to families in the adoption process. Zack and I were very grateful recipients of a grant for our adoption, so we felt it was the least we could do to volunteer for this amazing organization. And what a blessing it was! We met so many other families who had adopted and got to hear their stories. At our booth alone (I think there were 4 other booths), around 75 people agreed to sponsor adoption! Praise the Lord!
It was also such a blessing to hear Steven Curtis Chapman and special guest Geoff Moore speak about how adoption has touched their lives. I found myself in tears many times throughout the night. I was reminded, once again, of our own calling to adopt and overwhelmed by the blessings God has given us and continues to gives us through adoption.
At the end of the night, we were led down onto the floor of the arena and through a back hallway. There stood Steven Curtis Chapman! I could not believe it!!! We stood in line to meet him and a thousand thoughts ran through my mind! Mainly thoughts of gratitude for what he and his family have done to promote adoption and how they have helped so many families bring home their children. Truly, their story had a great influence on Zack and I and our decision to adopt. As it was our turn to meet him, I got choked up and could barely even tell him "thank you" for what he had done for our family and for adoption in general. I finally gained my composure enough to show him a picture of Caleb (he loved the name, as he has a son named Caleb too :), and to properly thank him. Zack also thanked him and spoke about the amazing impact his family has had on adoption. Just think- because of one persons obedience to God's call (their daughter Emily who relentlessly spoke to Steven Curtis and Mary Beth about adoption), thousands of lives have been changed!

It was most definitely a night to remember!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally! A short video montage of our journey!

Today at a doctor's appointment I was talking to my doctor and nurse about our adoption. He told me about someone on his staff that was interested in adopting and asked if it would be okay if she spoke to me to get some more information. Of course, I was more than happy to talk to her! We had a great conversation, and I pray that God used something I said to lead her to adopt!

The conversation we had caused me to reflect back on our time in Ethiopia, and I found myself sitting this afternoon and browsing through pictures of our trip. I realized I never made any type of video or montage- and suddenly I was inspired to do so! After it was finished I sat with Caleb in my lap and we watched it together. I couldn't help but cry as I marveled at all that God has done in our lives and held Caleb in my arms! Praise Him!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caleb's First Sting (I know, what an awful thing to have to post about :)

Well, today was going well- the sun came out, Caleb was in a good mood, had a great nap, etc. We went for a short trip to Wal-Mart and then made a stop at the post office. All was good. When we got home I opened the door to the sun room, as Caleb loves to play in there on warm days. I saw something I fear......a wasp! Usually Zack kills them, but he wasn't home from work yet, so in order for Caleb to play in the sun room, I knew I had to kill the wasp. "You can do this" I kept telling myself (I am ridiculous, I know :). I bravely took "Green Eggs and Ham" (truth) and nailed the wasp a few times. He looked very dead. I even let Caleb hit it a few times :) Again, it seemed very dead. But, for whatever reason, I let it lay there. This turned out to be a very bad decision. Well, Caleb came back into the kitchen with me and began chasing Pooh (our dog) around the house with "Green Eggs and Ham" threatening to do the same thing to Pooh as he did to the wasp (maybe letting him help kill the wasp was the first mistake?). I began fixing dinner and glanced Caleb going back into the sun room. Only a few minutes later, screaming ensued. I knew instantly what had happened- he had picked up the wasp, all because I had not removed it from the sun room! What kind of mother was I????? I came running and picked Caleb up as he was screaming and crying. I tried to see where the wasp had stung him (I assumed it was on the hand, as the wasp had been moved from its original location), and soon realized that Caleb was touching his mouth! It was his lip, evident by the swelling! Poor guy! I stayed pretty calm, immediately thinking that I needed to find the Children's Benadryl. But, instead I called my mom (always seems to be the default decision). I could barely hear over Caleb's screaming, but she said she would call Punky (my mother-in-law, also a former pediatric nurse) and suggested I call the pediatrician, which I did...but no answer! So I went for the Benadryl, which thankfully Punky confirmed as the right decision. I also gave Caleb a frozen plastic thing (good description, I know :) and he knew what to do with it! All in all, it went pretty well, and after about 15 minutes, the crying ceased and Caleb seemed to be okay, even smiling, just with a very fat lip.

I know I wrote this in a comical manner, but seriously, we are very thankful that he did not have a more serious reaction and that he appears at this time to not be allergic to wasp stings. I know it could have been so much worse! I am so thankful that God was watching over us and allowed us all to stay calm and make good choices. Hopefully next time, I will make better choices to begin with!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our First Easter With Caleb.....

First, some photos....

At the "Easter Eggstravaganza" on Saturday..... Receiving his Easter basket, hand made by grandma:)
With pap and mommy before the start of the Passion Play

With Grandma.....

Eventually the pants just have to come off :) As you can see, he was much more interested in the "fower" as he says than in smiling for a family photo :)

With his daddy....two fine looking fellas :)

Soooo adorable....I stared at a him a lot today :) Thanks to granna and grandma for the lovely Easter outfit. Grandparents....what would we do without them?

This weekend was truly wonderful (the only thing that could have made it better would have been if Zack hadn't been scheduled to work most of the weekend....we missed him so much!). We took Caleb to an Easter event our church puts on every year for the community on Saturday. It has lots of things for kids- an egg hunt, face painting, lots of inflatables, etc. Caleb actually went down the giant slides a couple of times with mommy and then with pap, and he seemed to like it okay. Then he decided he wanted to get in the big bouncy inflatable. That was all well and good until a few bigger kids got in and made it really bounce....then Caleb decided it was time to get out! Later that afternoon we went to pap and grandma's house, and Caleb received his first Easter basket! He got some new books, fruit snacks, and some cool cups with straws (we are working on getting rid of the sippy cups :) Mommy and daddy also got their Easter baskets :)
This morning we performed the final performance of our passion play at church. We had performed throughout the week as well, and as I reflect on the performances, I realize what a true blessing it is to be able to tell the most beautiful, amazing, and awesome story ever! I am moved each time they raise the cross and I see Jesus hanging there, bearing the sin of the world, for you and for me. And how I am overjoyed when the choir breaks into "He's Alive".
Praise God, He is Alive!!
While backstage, I also thought today about how blessed we are to have Caleb with us this Easter. He watched the Passion Play about three times this week, and though I know he doesn't really understand what it is all about right now, I pray everyday that one day he will. He looked so pretty today, yes, I said pretty :) I just kept looking at him all day, in disbelief that we could be so blessed. Something else I thought about today.... I wondered if the children we met in Ethiopia were thinking about what Easter means. I hope that they were, and because our agency is a Christian agency, I believe that the staff probably recounted the Easter story to them.
I also thought about how very few of the children there would have an Easter basket or have a nice Easter outfit to wear or have a nice Easter dinner spread before them. I know that stuff really doesn't matter, and that it is not truly part of what Easter is all about, but still, it was something I thought about. It is a "no brainer" for most of us here in the USA to go out and purchase a new Easter outfit and to have a nice Easter meal....but that is not the case in Ethiopia. I thought about the kids there, and I wished that I could give them all a brand new outfit and an Easter basket full of things that would make their eyes sparkle and food that would fill their bellies. I wish that for all of them. Though I can't do that very thing, I can make a difference, and so can you! If you aren't involved in helping children that live in poverty stricken countries, would you please consider it? There are links to two great and credible organizations, Compassion International and The Mocha Club at the top of our blog, on the right side. Both have wonderful ministries and help to make the lives of children better for a very small monthly donation.
Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Prayers for Micah Richardson

Tonight we need to lift up little Micah and his mommy Julia and Roscoe. They just brought little Micah home from Ethiopia and immediately he had to be admitted to the children's hospital. He is one sick little boy. They realized how ill he was about midway through their trip to Ethiopia. Thankfully they were able to return home as scheduled so that Micah could get the proper medical care he needed.

I came to know Julia through our Ethiopia Yahoo group, and we quickly discovered we had a lot in common! Both of our sons shared the same Ethiopian name, our birth dates are the same, and we also share many of the same health/nutritional is too weird, really!

I truly can not imagine what this family must be going through- they are brand new parents, have just traveled half way around the world and spent many, many hours on a plane (which equals serious exhaustion, trust me, I have been there!) and they have a very sick little boy.....they need our prayers! You can visit their blog by clicking here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009