Thursday, October 29, 2009

Windows 7: I wanted more reliable, now it's more reliable. Wow!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Artificial Twinning

Artificial Twinning - Children born within 9 months of each other.

From my understanding, Holt doesn't like this because they want the child to have their own identity. For example (their example, not mine), if they're within 9 months, they'll be in the same grade. And if that was the case, they'd at least want them to have different teachers.

My rebuttal: who cares what the date of their birthday is, they can have that same issue. They can be a year apart and if the adopted child is held back for various reasons and Bethany goes to school on time, that will still be an issue. HELLO. Am I the only one making this connection? Likewise, I also think that there would be some benefit to being in the same class - to have a buddy, a helper, a friend, etc. And if we have twins, or adopt twins, we'd have the same thing too.

Now, I understand some of the reasoning. I just don't think what was explained to me carries a whole lot of value. I would love to hear more opinions on this issue. Maybe I need a better explanation from the social worker!

Oh and on another note, we asked to view a file and were denied because of the AT issue. But they said that if a few months goes by and a family is still needed, then we can view the file. What? So AT is only an important issue some of the time??? Again, I understand their reasoning - it's better to have AT issues than orphanage ones but I'm just wishing this wasn't their policy and that I could make my own decision on if that would be acceptable for our family.


Well, I can almost breathe again after the auction. I still have loose ends to tie up but now I can jump back into the adoption paperwork. Here's the latest on that.
  • I really need to connect with bankers, doctors, etc to get notarized letters of them stating clean bill of health/banking.
  • We're viewing the profile of a little girl who needs heart surgery. So far, I don't feel at peace with pursuing her. I need to pray more. At this point I mentioned to Ryan that if someone else wants to pursue her, I will not. If a few weeks go by with no news, I will revisit (and hopefully have a peace from God for either decision) her file.
  • I really, really do want siblings. At this point I'm annoyed with Holt's policy about artificial twinning.
  • We have our first homestudy appointment next Friday. Oh how I wish it was this Friday instead of waiting another week!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Okay, so I'm about to be transparent and real here.  This also means that you will get to see my ugly but real side.  Warning.
I will try to keep it brief.
For months I have planned an adoption auction.  I have spent countless hours designing a website, gathering auction items, creating flyers about Ethiopia and orphans, purchasing supplies, asking God to bless the event, asking friends to make desserts, etc.  I've honestly spent more time on this event than I did on my wedding planning. 
We spent Saturday morning setting up and decorating.  I continued to pray for 3 main things: 1. That it would bring God glory, 2. That it would bring an awareness of orphans, 3. That we could raise a specific dollar amount with the auction.  It came together wonderfully and I was nervous but hopeful.  By mid afternoon, my throat was getting sore and I knew that I needed to sit down for awhile.  That break didn't happen but I did have a chance to get cleaned up (and put on make up for the first time in months), bathe my wild kids, and spend a few moments with family. 
We left to head back to the Opera House so that people could bring their desserts and we could eat as a family plus our friends that were helping.  As we sat together and ate our pizza, I had this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. 
So I began to pray.
Why would I feel so lonely.  Maybe it was that I was sitting in the big Opera House and had stopped running around.  The prep work was done and we were all getting a bite to eat before it began.  Maybe it was the devil playing tricks.  Of course a million things run through my mind.  I felt like I was having this argument with God about the lonliness and the "what if no one comes" thoughts that were running through my head.
But God, I aksed you to bless it in Your Name, not mine. How will they know about the need to care for orphans if you don't bring them through the door?

And the negative thoughts continued.  I should have sent out postcards.  I should have put more in the paper.  I should have...  Seriously, why do we do this to ourselves.  The bible clearly says not to give the devil a foot hold.  Though I firmly believe that we should pray for specifics, I knew that God would choose to do what He wanted regardless of how much work I did and how much I was kicking myself for not doing.  Do you ever have that?  Where you have this battle in your own head?  I should have done the postcards... but I can only do so much with my time.  I should have done this... but I have two little kids that need mommy to eat supper with them. 
And so I shrugged it off and went on, focusing on how to present the desserts, etc.
The auction started at 630 and I'm so thankful I wasn't wearing a watch!!!  People were there but not tons and tons of people like I had hoped for.  It wasn't until the auctioneer walked in that I really realized how little people were there.  There was 45 minutes on the silent auction before the live auction of about 8 items.  Here stood the auctioneer and we hadn't even filled the room yet.  We waited another 15 minutes before I faced the inevitable and went on with the live auction. 
I didn't count the number of people there.  And to be honest, I don't think its important.  What I do know, is that I was really, really dissapointed in the turn out.  There were approximately 30 people there.  Besides the auctioneer, there was only three people there from the community outside of our church.  One was helping with the auction and the other was the auctioneer's son, who also happens to be a client of Ryan's.
The live auction came and went without much excitement.  A few things were bid on by several people but most things kept their starting bid or had one bid on them.  My saddle and blanket went for $25 when the auctioneer started it at that but even he turned and told me that he wouldn't understand if I didn't want to sell it for that much.  This was not what I envisioned.
My heart was happy but broken all at the same time.
Sure, the Iowa Hawkeyes were undefeated and playing at the same time but that couldn't have kept everyone home could it?  It wasn't even raining out.  I feel stupid for planning for 500, thinking we'd have at least 200 and having 30.  There's all these desserts, are people going to be mad that I asked them to make a dessert that I didn't really need?  What are you trying to teach me through this Lord?
Of course, I'm not all negative in my thinking...
At the same time, I was so glad for those who did come.  In fact one of the checks in the donations (they didn't bid on anything) said "we care" in the memo line.  Oh how I wish they would have said that at the event.  How could I stand there and look past all the people who were there to only focus on who wasn't?  There were lots of people there who care about us.  Who see the value in adoption.  Who care for the orphans.  That was so obviously evidenced by the amount of donations, by the desserts given, by the prayers said and the kind words shared.  But I was asking for more.  And it so wasn't in God's design for there to be more that night.  I still don't know why but I'm trying to be at peace about it.
I am so thankful for all the participation.  So, so thankful for the countless hours that mom kept my kids while I worked on adoption stuff.  So, so thankful for Ryan's ability to let me be off in another world focusing on this while he put the kids in bed and didn't get my attention.  So, so thankful for Cassie's amazing help planning, shopping, setting up, getting donations, adverstising, etc.  I'm so thankful for those who have cared through this process, whether they put it on the memo so I could "see" it or not.
We can't always see things even if they are there.
It's so much easier for me to understand and comprehend the tangible.  I specifically prayed for a range of money (between $4500 and $5400).  I didn't set a goal that would fund all of our adoption, or even a goal that would fund the difference of what we'd not saved on our own.  I don't even know where the goal came from except to say that it came to mind while I was praying one day.  We didn't meet that goal with the auction but I'm okay with that.  Because in that I faithful to pray and seek God and He was faithful to answer.  Those who supported us through winning bids, supported us big time.  I heard one lady say that she was writing a check for $500 and wanted the difference to go towards the raffle tickets.  I didn't know what her total was so I added it up later that night.  I was blown away to read the totals on checks and then match them with what they'd purchased.  It was so cool.  And as I held the money in my hand late Saturday night, I was and am so thankful to God who made it all happen.  Cause at the end of the night, we were ~$3,000 closer to bringing children home from Ethiopia. 
Yes, God did hear my prayers and He did answer and I'm so glad to have participated in that!

Windows 7: It helps you do more. Explore Windows 7.

Friday, October 16, 2009

yummy water

So far so good. did I mention that I had an email yesterday morning from Doug saying that he would be out that day and have results on Monday. They are wonderful people and I so greatly appreciate them. I had a note on my counter that said nitrates were fine. Monday we should know the results of the bacteria test and then be moving forward again.
Thanks Doug and Jane!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Well Water

Great news: Holt has received all our background checks, etc and is ready to forward it to our social worker. That means that we can start our homestudy soon.

BaHumbug news: Holt informed me today that we need a test on our well water done within 12 months before the info gets sent to our social worker.

Okay, so I'm super excited that this is progressing. However I'm a bit bummed that they didn't catch the well water issue in the last few weeks while we were waiting for background checks, etc. It stinks to have to wait longer when this is something I could've had done. The really cool part about it is that the guy who services our water softener and delivers our bottled water can do the test. He also happens to be a member of our church and VERY supportive of our adoption. So supportive in fact, he donated a reverse osmosis system to be installed to our auction. Anyway, after checking with them, the test will be run early next week and the results back late in the week. That's only a week later. Not so bad, right? It gets better, I had an email from Doug this morning saying that he would test the water TODAY and have the results on Monday. Thank you, thank you, thank you Easton's Water. I love you guys!

Things are progressing slowly. I have some of the documentation for our dossier (application to adopt that gets sent to DC and to Ethiopia) but need to get started on a few more letters - from the bank, from the doctor, from another friend and maybe a few more.

Guys, we're finally moving along in this process and I'm so thankful. My heart continues to grow as does my passion for orphans!

For any of you nearby, we'd love to see you at our adoption auction at the Opera House on Oct 24th. Let me know if you're interested.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loving Today

While I sit and type at the library, lots of thoughts are going through my mind. So, I'll share a few that will give you insight to our process:
  • I read on a yahoo group that Et doesn't like fundraiser. Their take is that if you have to fundraise for an adoption, you can't afford to raise the child. While I understand their concern, I also look at it mathematically and coming up with $25,000-$40,000 in 12 months to adopt is much more than we'd spend in a year to raise all of our kids! So, I'm trying to be prayerful about this rather than understanding.
  • We finished phase 3 paperwork. Got the next packet of information to read through. I started that a few minutes ago. I'm so excited to be moving through this process.
  • Fundraising has become more than fundraising to me. I want it to also serve as an awareness for adoption and orphans in general. Yesterday while driving, I was trying to organize how the dessert/auction will look and feel to people. I'm praying that God will do far more with the auction than I can even imagine... especially since I have limited hours in the day to invest in fundraising.
  • Speaking of fundraising, I have lots to do for that. I still want to contact the other local papers about putting something in. Yes, I should just fork out the cash and do an add. And I need to finish designing a few posters to be hung in the local towns around here.
  • I would love to be covered in prayer in the coming weeks as I spend lots of time doing this stuff. I don't want to put God in the backseat and try to do this all myself. I don't want my quiet time to go out the window. But I know I don't have enough hours in the day to do it all. Will you pray for me? (and for patience for Ryan as he deals with me?)
  • I don't know what children or child God has in mind for us. But I do know that we love them already as we work to bring them home!