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??

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Here We Are, Send US!!!

I just really need to share what's been going on in my heart recently...

For some time now(MONTHS) I've been feeling that the Lord may be asking US to GO to the mission field(foreign)...specifically, to work with, and spread the gospel to orphans/underprivileged children full-time!! Yeah, yeah, I know...CRAZY, isn't it?!?!? But, I just can't shake it!! At times it is so strong that I have weird and crazy thoughts run through my mind...for example, this summer, when I was stocking up on school desks, supplies, etc...this voice in the back of my mind kept saying, "Keep it simple Renae, you can't take that with you to the mission field." I would have blown it off, if it hadn't happened MULTIPLE times about multiple things!!

I don't really know what to make of it all. All I know is that, the more and more I read scripture and think about our PURPOSE as Christians, the more unsettled I feel about our "American lives"... The more nothing makes sense EXCEPT going!! I want to have a fully surrendered heart to WHEREVER the Lord leads, as does my husband....so we are obviously praying diligently about what He may have for us, and it seems the confirmations we pray for are always coming through something I have read/heard/etc....and he hasn't heard that same confirmation, so we "wait expectantly" for what our next step might be...or not be:).

I want the Lord to lead us through my husband, as it should be, so I'm asking you to PRAY as well. That IF this is from HIM(and not my own pre-menopausal craziness;)), He will make it clear to BOTH of us, and that our children will somehow sense it as well. My hubby loves the Lord, and has a passion for discipleship and teaching God's word, so we want this to be a TEAM endeavor for sure!:)

It's exciting to say "YES, LORD!!"...but incredibly humbling and scary all at the same time.

Now...for a list of ALL the reasons why I should NOT be on the mission field..AHEM..

1. I'm easily angered
2. I have food "issues"
3. I LOVE hair dryers, make-up, and being CLEAN(not that you couldn't be clean on the mission field...just sayin')
4 I can be pretty "sassy" at times
5. I don't like snakes, bugs, or any HARMFUL animal
6. I'm prideful
7. I HATE flying overseas...or anywhere for that matter...
8. I yell at my kids sometimes..therefore certainly not worthy of working with children.
9. I hate change...no, I love change....apparently I'm wishy-washy as well.
10. I love television...and radio...(not that you can't have T.V. and radio on the mission field)
11. I can be VERY self-centered
12. I LOVE having a hospital ten minutes away!
13. I also have trust issues(see #12)
14. We still owe college debt...so, not always great with money..
15. I've sinned in ways you'll never know...

So there you have it....all the ways God CAN'T use me(or my family) on the mission field.

And did I mention how very THANKFUL I am for His GRACE that covers all that JUNK above;)!

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Ava Update

We just finished up our third post-placement visit for Ava! WOW, hard to believe she's been home that long.

So, I thought it was time for an update:).

Ava is speaking clearly and in full sentences now, but still struggles with some things/topics...she gets hot/cold mixed up, inside/outside, button/unbutton, and sometimes open/close and off/on. She communicates all the basics, and we can have simple conversations. She doesn't understand "when", "why", or "how" questions consistently....but "where" and "what" are pretty clear(those are more concrete). She also mixes up "meals".

We are doing preschool here at home with her, but today we took her for a pre-school screening at our local school district. I just feel that she is not catching up as quickly as she should for being home 15 months and is still about a year behind, and if I can get her some help with that, then I will. So, they agreed that there are language issues and fine motor issues that need "further evaluation", so once those are done, and if she "qualifies" for services, we will put her in their preschool four days a week, half days, and she will get some speech therapy etc. She IS learning to count and write some..she switches hands often and doesn't know how to "copy" something I draw(such as a shape...), well, unless it's a circle. Scissors are hard because her hands are SO stinkin' tiny...the opening on the child scissors is still too big for her!

I really WANTED to be able to help her catch up, I am a TEACHER after all....and maybe she would eventually....but again, I don't want to assume there's nothing going on cognitively, and that it's just "language acquisition", when it may not be. Plus, I think it puts further strain on our relationship at this point because I just don't know how to get her to understand certain concepts, and I get very frustrated. I'm a little worried that I won't be able to homeschool her at all....and I feel TERRIBLY guilty about that!!!!!:(

We also learned today that her vision in her "good" eye(that sounds bad?) is only 20/60, so she will definitely get glasses. The ophthalmologist never gave us a "number" and didn't make it sound too bad, so we kept putting that off.... She also has depth perception issues with the blindness as well. For example, we have a wooden deck that is painted all brown, and at every line in the wood, she hesitates and thinks it's a step...

I've also wondered if she may have color-blindness. She can get yellow, pink, orange, brown, and black(although sometimes she even forgets those the very next day....uggggh)...but red, blue, and green totally elude her!!! I need some sort of test for that....

Eating....she eats okay, but prefers salty and crunchy above all else, and would exchange her very LIFE for a drink!!! It's a point of manipulation at church as well, she asks the SS teachers for drinks constantly if we don't remind her not to. She has only gained 2 lbs in the past 15 months, and 1 inch in height. That worries me some.... What else...hmmmmm.. She cannot drink juice, eat gummy candy...or similar candies because they give her diarrhea. Anyone know what may be up with that?

As far as attaching, I THINK she's doing well.... We did have one incident a couple of weeks ago at church when her teacher mentioned going to Meijer after church and Ava wanted to come with her....she cried when we picked her up because she really thought she was going with her!!! This particular teacher holds her a lot too.... I have to keep reminding her that I'M her Mommy and she has to stay with US.... So, I don't know....it's like the more comfortable she becomes with us, the more "attachment issues" we see....weird...

We still have not seen any type of behavior issues with her. She is gentle and sweet, and a loving little girl. We are blessed!

I think that's it....you probably have learned more than you wanted to about her, huh?!;) And I'm pretty sure I used WAY too many " " in this post!!!;)