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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Catching up....celebrating C

As always, lots going on around here...hard to keep up.  Someone had a birthday recently and was celebrated from morning to night....read her journal (one of her presents) below to get a summary of the day. :)

 Sweet Molly had chosen these necklaces a while back for her and C.

 And....the big event a few days later--her first sleep over party.  Sweet friends.  And they actually slept.

Then, March 22 was 4 years with our family!  Hard to believe it has been that long.  We had a lot going on Saturday, but managed to celebrate her, too.  She made the traditional Chinese cheese cube and toothpick tower....Kidding, that was totally random, but 'take a picture, Mommy!'.

We had Chinese for dinner, but forgot to take a picture...
And a gift from China for this year.  A hanging of the Chinese New Year Symbols.
 She had a good day.
And it was so sweet to celebrate all of this with her surgery behind us and her tummy feeling great.  Happier than ever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Random thoughts

Sitting here in my dark house thanks to too much wind...

I think I have PPSD. Post 'PAX' stress disorder. First if all, whoever decided to name a catastrophic ice storm 'Pax' didn't know what that word meant, I don't think. Ever since the 4 days of power outage, I get palpitations when, say, a light doesn't turn on because the bulb is out... Just now feeling a bit panicky. Kids aren't even excited about power outages any more like they used to be.
Oh!!! Just came back on...we will see if it lasts.

Also, I've been thinking all day today that I feel like I did many nights going to bed at the end of my pregnancies. Like today is my due date. Will it be tonight?? Will I wake up in labor?? Will we meet this sweet one?? Is today/tomorrow his/her birthday?? The anticipation!!!! I'm glad I have a good book.  Not sure there will be much sleep tonight!

So strange to think life altering events are occurring while I'm cuddled up in my PJ's reading a book.

As we prayed before bed tonight, many prayers were lifted about the interview, embassy, travel dates, etc. but leave it to Molly's sweet heart to make me tear up. "Be with David and help him to know we will get him soon. Help him to know he's not alone."

It's tomorrow!!!...today.

Ethiopia is 7 hours ahed of Augusta.

That means at 5pm today it was 12am there.

That means it is March 13 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

That means our case will be reviewed at the American Embassy 'TODAY'!!!!

Please join us in praying that all the t's are crossed, the i's dotted and everything is in order.  Pray the person that needs to be interviewed arrives as scheduled.  Pray there are no problems or concerns to delay our case.  Pray for our hearts to be patient.  Pray for the Lord's perfect timing.

Pray we hear the words "Embassy has CLEARED your case"...come get your boy!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What a Wonderful Week

This is late.  As usual, life has been busy and days fly by, turning into weeks, but tonight I must pause and write this.  Because it has to be said.  I has to be recorded.  It has to be remembered.

Most of you know that Cynthia was very sick a few weeks ago.  That Monday morning began a whirl of doctors, tests, lab work, scans and finally surgery--looking for the unknown, undetermined problem.  It was a big problem.  But, thankfully, it was a fixable problem.  It led to a long week in the hospital, nights sleeping on the 'bed' in her room, running home for showers and to breathe some fresh air for brief periods of time, and long days spent with her recovering.  Which she did, with such grace.  She really is a very good patient.  She's tough.  The surgeon commented several times that she wasn't needing as much pain medicine as he thought she would after surgery.  As soon as she was awake and alert, there were no complaints about (or pulling on) the multitude of tubes and monitors--only questions.  

Daddy got her first smile by being silly and then we saw her coming back.  
Her first activity was to write a thank you to Molly for a card and a thank you to me for 'Make me feel better.' Melt my heart. 
By a day or 2 after surgery, she was pretty much herself as far as interactions and discussions.  She had to wait several days to eat, and still no complaints only comments of 'I'm hungry, but I can't eat yet.'  A simple statement of fact.  There were a few tears--related to removing tape/bandages of all things...

She, of course, won the hearts of all who cared for her-doctors, nurses, students, residents, child life specialists.  All she has to do is say 'hi' in that sweet voice and smile her sweet smile and it's all over.  

So, all in all, after an awful, scary, frightening Monday, the rest of the week proved a steady and uncomplicated recovery, which was our prayer--right after a successful surgery.

So, a wonderful week, right?  Well, yes, but that's only part of the story.

The rest started with the texts and calls.  
"We're praying for Cynthia."
"Lifting up your family."
"Keep us updated so we know how to keep praying."
"I've got dinner for you."
"Can I help?"
"What can I do to help?"
"Do you need anything?"

Then began the visits--first a few people we knew who work at the hospital.  Then a friend delivered dinner.  Then one of our pastors (and friend) came by just as we were settling in after surgery.  Then another, and another, more calls, more offers of help, more meals headed our way.  I had so many sweet offers to help I had to ask someone to help arrange it all for me.  It's hard for me to say I need help.  But wow, did I.  One of the pastors wisely told me that it was time for me to accept it - to allow others to serve us.  And what a blessing it was.

For the entire time we were in the hospital, we had lunch delivered, dinner for the kids at home (and extra to deliver to hospital), rides/care for children, my work covered--including the weekend, so many visitors came by to bring a smile, a card, a gift, (her room looked like Christmas!  Did I mention how she could win anyone over??) play a game, or visit a while. We even were blessed to have our yard cleaned up after the ice storm by the WSA baseball team that came to our house to do their 'conditioning' by hauling limbs up our driveway.  What a picture of the body of Christ...the hands and feet, literally.

It was very humbling and incredibly heartwarming to see this and to see Cynthia and our other children see this act of love for our family.  To the many of you who called, came, fed, drove, and especially prayed--thank you.  You loved us well.

What a wonderful week.

But, that's not even all.  When I handed Cynthia to the surgery team, I had a brief moment of that 'gut-wrenching-motherhood-moment-will-I-ever-hold-her-again-please-Lord-don't-let-this-be-it-don't-ask-me-to-do-that.' feeling.  But, his grace is sufficient and he met me in that moment.  I had peace.  You may be thinking that it's easy to say that on this side of the event, now that everything is fine and she's better than she ever has been.  But really, I believe God gives grace for the moment.  Would I still be able to say that had there been an outcome from the surgery that was not as good...requiring ongoing care and another surgery later?  Well, we had a brief time that we thought that might be the case and after the initial shock, again, grace for the moment.  Jeff and I came to the 'we can do this' conclusion...with His help.  Then, we weren't asked to face that trial.  In his grace.  Would I have been able to say that had the unthinkable happened and she not made it?  I don't know.  And I can't even think about it.  But, I don't need to because he hasn't asked me to face it.  I can only imagine how one must cling to him, and only him, to even breathe in a time like that.  I still believe he gives grace for the moment...even if it's only to breathe until the next moment.  

I have to believe in God's grace for what comes to us--not that it's not hard, not that it's not crippling, even, at times. But if this trial has taught me nothing else, it has definitely taught me about my limits, my lack of control, my inability to fix everything in my childrens' lives.  

Just as I had to hand Cynthia over to the surgical team...truly as her only hope for life in that moment and swallow that gut wrenching feeling, I need to remind myself that I need to constantly hand all of my children over to the One who can give them true life.  Daily.  Again and again.  And I need to be on my knees for them just as I was for her.  Sometimes it's more obvious, but it's no less crucial.

What a wonderful lesson.
What a wonderful week.