Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Never easy

Paperwork stinks.

It just does.  Especially that each paper isn't just a paper.  

First, you have to get the paper, or write the paper, or earn the paper.  

Then you have to get someone else to notarize the paper.  So you can say you really did get, write or earn the paper.

After that, you must mail the paper.  To the Secretary of State.  So they can certify that someone really did notarize the paper that you really did get, write or earn.

Then...onto the Department of State and Embassy to get authentication that someone really did certify that someone really did notarize the paper that you really did get, write or earn.


All the while we wait.

And a little boy waits.  Alone.

So, you can see that each paper must be perfect before it heads down this trail.  One mistake and the whole process has to start over.  And the waiting becomes longer.

We have been working and are making progress.  I went to pick up a letter yesterday and when I got home realized it was supposed to be on their letter head--and wasn't.  And that their notary expires 'too soon'.  i.e. possibly before our entire process will be complete--which won't work.  So, I called back asked if they would be kind enough to redo the letter on letterhead--took a lot of explaining.  And inquired if they might possibly have another notary.  Of course they don't.  We have a sweet friend who is willing to go there (with her 4 children!) who can notarize it.  I just have to coordinate with their office manager a time the new letter, the author of said letter and she can all be in the same room.  Simple.  And by the way they close at 11:30 on Fridays.  Onto next week for this 1 little paper!!!!  Grrr again.

At this point this is doing nothing to delay our process.  We are waiting on other things while we work on these little papers, but it is just the frustration and difficulty of it all.

And I know why it happens.

Satan HATES adoption.  He will put obstacles, fear, frustration, sickness, ANYTHING in the path of completing something that so closely mirrors what God does for us.  Something so beautiful that I can't even talk about it without getting teary eyed.  Something that redeems, heals, sets the lonely in families.

So we push past the obstacles.  Get, write, earn papers. Organize a meeting of a mom of 4 with someone to sign a letter, get fingerprinted three times, do a homestudy, calculate all of our financial information, read a book, watch webinars, basically WHATEVER IT TAKES.  

We won't stop.  

We're pressing on little man.

Cynthia has something to say!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Precious Gift

We have such sweet friends.  Friends who are rejoicing with us on this next journey.  Friends who were sad with us, but understanding, when we had to make some hard decisions to move forward.  Friends who we are blessed to be walking this road alongside.  Friends who 'get it'.

One of those sweet friends, Nicole, who is about to bring her cutie home from South Africa was so sweet to pass this on to me.  They originally were headed to another African country, but felt the Lord changing their plans.  While they were waiting, she wore this bracelet. 

A sweet reminder of God's promise to them and to their soon-to-be child.  

"I will not leave you as orphans,
I will come to you."
~~John 14:18

When I originally saw it, I LOVED it.  I don't think she even knew that, but the other day, I was so pleasantly surprised to get a 'hand-me-down' from her!!  Since she was headed to another place, these coordinates didn't apply to their story anymore.  

Now any detectives among you can now find out what country our little man is in! :)

And it is extra special, because I am wearing it right next to the jade bracelet I got in China and haven't taken off since!  What a sweet reminder to me every time I look down, or every time I move and they make their pretty little 'clink' together....
A visual reminder to me of God's promises.....those completed and those to come.

Thanks, Nicole, you are a precious friend.  Rejoicing with you!!  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Heard from the backseat.....

I had the privilege of going with Cynthia and her class today to a field trip to the strawberry patch.  She was so excited and we had a fun time.

I drove her and 2 classmates. Here were several of the conversations:

Boy: My grandma has a farm. We went there recently.
Me: That sounds fun, where is it?
Boy: I'm not sure....
Me: Is it close or far? Do you have to fly there?
Boy: Oh, it's close, we can drive...I think it's Spain!
We passed a USC flag and one of the boys said, "Boo, Carolina!" They then started cheering for their favorite teams. Cynthia piped up and said, "Go, CHINESE!"
Boy (different one): My mom's feet stink!! One smells like rotten cheese and the other smells like rotten eggs!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Until Next Time

We are home.  Laundry is going, backpacks ready for school.  Had soccer practice, a soccer game, boy scouts and the usual bath bedtime routine.  It's always sad to say goodbye to a vacation, but there is something comforting in routine, too.  Now, if the 'routine' wasn't quite so hectic.....working on that, but that's a discussion for another day.

We got up this morning and took a last walk with our toes in the sand up to the pier.  

Until next time........

Beach Days

We have had a fun time here at the beach.  It was cool, but the kids braved the waters a few days.  There were also several heated pools and a lazy river at our hotel.  Fun for all!

Finding treasures.

Beach Frisbee....love those boys.

"Look at me I'm a SAND MONSTER!"  Not actually sure she is my daughter. :)

We went out to mistake dinner one night....a seafood buffet.  I think we all over indulged!!  At least it was a good lesson. :)

There are some crazy places here.....this was fun.  Kind of a kid's museum with games/activities...

This is Molly in the hurricane force wind tunnel--85 mph winds....

And this is Cynthia OUTSIDE of the door!

Everyone did this dirt bike race game, but C couldn't reach the pedals, so her brothers were kind enough to help her.

 :) :)
 Learning about pulleys....easier to pull yourself with more of them!
 Magic wall....recognize anyone?  Hint: glasses.

The girls loved this room....especially C.  They danced around and it made computer images of them on the screen while they moved.  Pretty cool.

USE THE FORCE.  This game used brain waves to move a ball.  Winner was the one that was the most calm.  Amazing.
 Thomas in his element.  34 mph goal kick.  Against an alien?!? goalie.  GOOOOOOOAAAAL!
 Peaceful rest anyone?

 And the bubble room....the floor was pretty slippery!

 One small step for man......

 On the top floor was a ropes course.....poor Cynthia was too short (as I'm afraid she will be for quite some time!), so we watched from below.
 The guys ready to go....friend included.

 Beach day.....we learned how to hunt for sharks teeth.  Made some good finds.

 And the girls were mesmerized by the 'sand diggers'.  With another sweet friend.

Daddy and his boys. LOVE.

And, don't fret, we are from Augusta, after all.  We watched Angel and the new champ Adam Scott (congrats on your new Green Jacket!) battle it out and then headed out for a little golf of our own....what else should we do on Masters Sunday???
It's been a great week full of activity, nature, friends, and family.  Although sad to have it over, it's always good to get back home.  Headed there tomorrow morning and back to real life very quickly.  The calendar for the week is full.
We have made some progress on our paperwork toward our little man, too(!) so lots of good going on.  Put the kids to bed tonight and talked about the fact that this could be our last vacation as a family of 6. :)
Blessed beyond measure.