We are so excited to share our Ethiopian adoption adventure, and our CRAZY lives with all of you! Our hope is that it will encourage you to step out in faith to do what God has called you to do! There are FIELDS of fatherless children waiting for someone to care for them, to love them, to tell them of JESUS' love for them...will YOU be the one??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

De-Bunking the Myth

I have had so many encouraging words lately from you guys! BUT...you guys give me way TOO MUCH credit! Most times I'm so unsure about my sanity, my faith, my LIFE...

I try to say things that will encourage YOU....but inside I still struggle with...well, all of the above! I doubt my decisions...I doubt my ability to parent, homeschool, discipline, raise the beautiful children I've been given...

I'm afraid they're going to be scarred for life by something I've said...or not said..

I'm afraid that I'll miss God's "other" callings on my life because I'm too busy to sit and listen to Him speak! Or, I'll rush and do something crazy that really wasn't HIS plan..it was mine!

I'm afraid that I won't ever gain victory over the "ugly" that's in my life...

I'm afraid that what my mother said is true..I really WILL turn into a chocolate covered peanut if don't STOP eating so MANY of them!!!!!!

I'm just afraid....

Then I remember, He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.(2 Tim. 1:7)

So glad that today...and every day...He gives me the power to live a victorious life, cause I could NEVER do this without Him! SO, I will move forward in CONFIDENCE that GOD'S got this...even when I don't:).

Okay, rambling over!:)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Three Months Home

I know it's been a while..but it's time for an update!

It's hard to believe it's been three months since we arrived home with Ava. She is still doing well...potty training is going well, she is speaking more English, etc..

She is now sleeping in her sister's room, and only wakes every once in a while screaming(she's not really awake though...night terrors?).

She is still very picky about food, but I'm seriously trying not to make it a battle...I tried in the beginning to always give her something she likes, but let's face it...she needs to learn to eat what everyone else has:).

She does have some curious habits I thought I would share. She likes SHOES..wants them on all the time...anyone's shoes will do...of course, they always wore shoes at the orphanage, so going barefoot is new;).

She would DRINK her meals if I would let her(not good for potty training though;))...she has to EAT first, then drink...we were told they didn't get a lot of milk, juice, etc..maybe only twice a day in the orphanage.

She loves to clean...

She would sit in a children's chair all day long if I let her...again, sitting on the floor is a little new...in fact, she use to grab her little chair and park it right in front of the shower until I was finished.. Honestly, this drove me bonkers!! But she's getting better.

Attachment....well, we thought she was doing well until we took her to Grandma's and left her with her siblings for a couple of hours...she never cried when we left, but cried when it was time to go home! She had apparently found a better deal at this house!! More than a little frustrating I can tell you! People may look at that as positive, but really it's not. Kids from institutions will go wherever/to whomever they get the most from. If you handed Ava to a stranger(a woman), she might cry for ten minutes, but as soon as she pulled out the candy Ava would quiet right down...as I think back about this, that's exactly what happened when we picked her up from the orphanage. Yes, I think she felt safe, but she's a very "lovey" child, so once she saw we were going to hold her(and give her candy), she was fine. All that to say, we will NOT be sending her to Sunday School, etc...for several months yet.

What else? She is counting to ten in English, and loves to look at books with me..

Oh yeah, the test results! We had a full metabolic blood screening done, and she does have mildly elevated levels of lead, and liver enzymes, so we retest in 6 months. She also has "small" red blood cells...or maybe she just meant the number was low...anyway, vitamin with iron daily... Everything else looked fine. A word of caution, make sure you take the medicals with you to the first pediatrician visit. Ava had a TB VACCINE, so if the doctor hadn't caught that she would have tested positive and put on meds for no reason... She always will test positive now because of the vaccine. We are waiting to get in to an opthalmologist about her detached retina.

She is no longer afraid of the vacuum or hair dryer(loves to have her hair dried), and we are working on her large motor skills outside. Her muscles are very weak compared to our other children at this age(obviously). So we are practicing throwing balls, kicking them, and climbing lots of steps!

We still can't decide if she is right or left-handed...hmmm... Puzzles are...well...puzzling to her...very difficult for her to do...she doesn't get the concept.

What else? I'm just blabbering on, but it's been a MONTH since I updated so I've got lots to say;)! Funny story: the other day I had Ava in the kitchen and I said,"Ava, this is the kitchen"..she got this really surprised look on her face and exclaimed in this slightly "drunken" drawl, "Wheresa chicken?!" Totally hilarious!

Oh yes, she LOVES her Daddy to pieces! In fact, she almost prefers him at home now(especially when we have a bad day)...but then she knows Daddy's buttons and can get what she wants from him! Seriously, be on the same page with your husband about expectations, because that little one will play you against each other like CRAZY! For example, she whines CONSTANTLY around him, wanting things, etc...but she KNOWS she will get NOTHING from me if she's whining!

And me? Well, I can honestly say this has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life...I'll be going along and then the bottom drops out! This little girl is forcing me to deal with issues that I thought I had under control...like anger, bitterness, temper... SINS! Sins that I have to deal with for her sake and mine! And I am...I'm surrendering to a holy GOD who can deliver and change me into the mother she needs! I'm fasting...I'm praying...and I see His hand working! I'm walking in obedience in the task He has given me, and He will fight the enemy on my behalf! I have to believe that...it's what my faith is built on...that He is Who He says He is, and will complete what He started over a year ago now in our hearts! I have friends that I can be totally honest with, who are praying for us as well...and I have a list of counselors if needed!

This adoption has not "ended" like I thought it would....but it's what we're dealing with now, and Ava is worth the work! She wasn't chosen by us...honestly, she wasn't...God had many opportunities to end this adoption process months ago...but HE set this child into our family, and HE knows what He's doing...even if I don't!

Would I adopt again....yes...because these children need families...but let's just say that NOW, my eyes are wide open! There really needs to be some honesty surrounding adoption...we see the lovely homecomings on youtube and can't wait for our turn...but what happens when it doesn't turn out that way? Did we miss "our" child? Did we hear God correctly? What have we DONE?!! It's OKAY! REALLY! Just be honest and prepared and let the relationship develop as it will...sometimes seemingly overnight, sometimes in a year(YIKES!)! This is not just your journey to a child...this is your journey into the woman of God you were created to be! For HIS glory, amen....;)!

Let me know if you have questions...email me..I'll be honest, I promise!

In the meantime, did you see that BEAUTIFUL little girl on the right-hand side of my blog???? She desperately needs a Mommy! Is it you???!!!